General Electric Hitachi

Pioneering Virtual Reality Fuel Movement Simulator

Client: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. Established in 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry. The nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities for new reactor and service opportunities. The alliance offers customers around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance reactor performance, power output, and safety.

Finding an efficient approach to training personnel and optimizing operations that could reduce operational costs and lower the price per megawatt of energy was a significant challenge, particularly given the extreme requirements, expertise, and investment that the nuclear power industry demands.

GEH thought about virtual reality technology to help them reach their goals, by eliminating barriers like specific plant designs and configurations or site personnel traveling to train in physical mockups.

Fuel movement operations are complex and highly skilled processes that require top-level expertise, considerable training and outstanding coordination between the different parties involved.

Virtualware’s engineers developed a life-size (1:1) VR simulation of a nuclear power plant and built it on VIROO®. The VR simulator deployed in VIROO® Room put the different users (instructor, driver, spotter, etc) inside a virtual power plant and allows personnel to walk through processes, train and develop systems for the processing and movement of nuclear fuel materials, minimizing risks and eliminating unnecessary exposures to deadly radiation.

The fuel movement VR simulator premiered on September 26, 2020, in Wilmington, NC, GEH’s main headquarter in the U.S.

VIROO® remote VR collaboration capabilities enable GEH to work uninterruptedly in the training sessions for fuel-moving crews around the world by connecting the operating VIROO® Rooms in North America. Two in the US, in Wilmington, NC, and San Jose, CA, and one in Canada in Toronto, ON.

Thanks to VIROO® crews can train at digital twins of their current nuclear plants, no matter where they are.

Finalist for the VR Awards 2020

Pioneering The new generation of industrial simulators

Physical Replica Integration of the physical replica of the refuelling mast

Cost And Risks Reduction of operational costs and risks associated with training and quality issues.

We can network (remote) rooms and have two groups that are in different physical locations working together, communicating and operating in the same virtual environment, so our fuel moving team doesn’t have to travel to the site. We eliminate a lot of that cost, but we still have something that is very realistic, that is very immersive and that it really is focused on the communication, on the coordination, and reinforcing the process that we are trying to train.

Christopher Roche
Product Line Leader, Drywell and BOP ISI at GEH

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