Since our inception, Oxand has provided our services to the nuclear sector. We have worked extensively with EDF in France, but also with operators in Belgium, in the US, the UK, and Spain. We have provided effective solutions to a wide variety of client requirements, and in so doing have amassed a considerable expertise in the sector. Oxand and our clients also benefit from our senior consultants’ decades of experience of the nuclear energy industry.
Oxand is well positioned to work with investors, owners and operators to contribute to the international renaissance of the nuclear industry. For example, we have been involved over several years with the UK EPR licensing process, working closely with EDF on both technical and project-related issues. We also have extensive experience with maintaining existing power plants, and helping operators to extend their lifecycle while ensuring safety and performance.
We bring our expertise of the strategic and technical issues involved in financing, designing, constructing, operating and maintenance of nuclear power installations.
Oxand's solutions for lifecycle management of nuclear installations
Oxand provides solutions at all stages of the lifecycle of a nuclear power plant in order to ensure safety and performance: from project inception right up until decommissioning. The diagram below illustrates the key phases in the life of a nuclear installation, as well as the types of services proposed by OXAND. To find out more, click on the category that interests you in the legend just below the main diagram.
The sustainability of a nuclear installation should be taken into account in the early design stages of the project in order to guarantee an optimised lifespan as well as meeting performance criteria. Safety and reliability concerns also need to be addressed at this early stage
- Recommendations to improve the reliability of design and construction
- Total cost analyses to predict cost over the lifetime of a nuclear power plant, including probabilistic risk analysis
- Improvement of sustainability of designs and reliability of security margins
- Guarantee of long-term performance thanks to the prevention of risks during operation
Example projects :
To control the risks associated with the ageing of a nuclear installation, it is necessary to define and implement a monitoring system and an adapted inspection program. Monitoring generates data which allows tracking and updating of a structure's risk profile, and hence enables optimisation of repair or maintenance works and the anticipation of faults in vulnerable zones. Monitoring and inspection data can also help to present a strong case to justify a lifespan extension.
- With Ageing Monitoring™ Details..., the complete package for the long-term monitoring of a structure, including the installation and maintenance of the necessary equipment, the archiving and analysis of data, and the use of data in updating risk profiles and forecasting faults
- The control and monitoring of ageing mechanisms
- Recommendations for optimised interventions (repairs, maintenance, etc)
- Cost reduction and increased efficiency of inspection/monitoring systems
- Anticipation and prevention of faults
- Decision-making aids for repairs/maintenance
- Facilitated safety demonstration to justify lifespan extension
Variations between the ‘as designed' and the ‘as built' can have large and sometimes unforeseen impacts on the functioning and condition of a nuclear installation in both the short and long-term. The analysis and evaluation of these impacts is therefore desirable in order to define action plans and anticipate maintenance.
- Short, medium and long-term impact analyses on structure function
- A neutral and independent expertise on defaults/disorders, with no influence from builders/contractors
- Control of commissioning deadlines
- Assistance to owners/operators for commissioning
- Assistance to owners/operators for safety demonstrations to nuclear safety authorities
- Control of costs for the correction of construction defects
- Guarantee of the safety level of a structure
- Prioritisation of the long-term interest of the owner over the short-term interest of the builder/contractor
- Guarantee of the maintenance of structures
Repair works are often expensive both in terms of direct cost as well as in terms of ensuing periods of unavailability of the structure. The sustainability and quality of repairs must therefore be ensured in order to avoid subsequent supplementary repair work.
- Assistance in the technical choices for sustainability (repair methods, materials…)
- Recommendations for execution methods and control procedures
- Verification of the quality and the sustainability of repairs while taking account of time constraints
- Gains on the total cost of maintenance due to optimisation and durability of repairs
- Improved performance due to prevention of faults resulting from poor repairs
- Minimised financial losses due to optimisation of periods of unavailability during repair work
In order to fully exploit initial ‘as built' data for the improvement of the lifecycle management of a nuclear installation, the information must first be collected and organised. This then allows the establishment of a realistic diagnosis of the installation, which will serve for the duration of the operating period to aid in planning maintenance work, identifying vulnerable areas, anticipating ageing degradation, etc...
- Creation of a detailed « snapshot » of a structure, giving an overall vision of its actual condition
- The capitalisation of data and construction feedback
- The management and quality assurance of construction data
- Long-term management of assets based on sound past experience
- Reliable decision-making aids based on a realistic diagnosis
Ageing mechanisms represent an inevitable risk for the civil engineering of a nuclear installation. Reinforced concrete reactor buildings with prestressing cables, for example, are subject to numerous ageing phenomena linked to the concrete (creep, shrinkage…), the reinforcing steel (corrosion, loss of section…) and the prestressing tendons (loss of tension…). The effective management of these complex and interdependent mechanisms requires a comprehensive expertise based on experience feedback.
- Study of the impacts of ageing mechanisms on performance indicators
- Identification of key phenomena in terms of impact on the lifespan of a structure
- Diagnosis and forecasting of a structure's condition and the associated risks
- Optimisation of maintenance and monitoring concerning risks, by a ranking of costs and benefits
- Decision-making support to plan and prioritise actions
- Decision-making support on strategic questions: maintain, repair or rebuild?
- Control of risks linked to the decision to extend the lifespan of industrial cooling circuits Details...
- Corrosion risk assessment of various design options for a cooling system Details...
- Prediction of the evolution of the deformation and cracking of cooling towers Details...
- Risk analysis of cooling towers Details...