Compelling Reasons to Consider Purchasing a Nuclear Plant Simulator
Thorough training is required to manage an atomic reactor safely and efficiently, and a nuclear plant simulator is widely seen as the method of choice. There can be little doubt that, currently, the world’s best chance of averting catastrophic climate change is to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels to generate electricity. Apart from the adverse environmental impact of burning gas, oil and coal, plants that utilise these materials are inherently dangerous and responsible for thousands of injuries and multiple deaths among operators every year. While many believe wind and solar power might provide a more sustainable alternative, this seems to be wishful thinking. Based on current performance, these technologies cannot come close to satisfying the growing worldwide demand for energy.
Despite fears concerning radiation leaks and the safe disposal of spent fuel rods, nuclear power stations have proved safer and more environmentally friendly than conventional thermal power plants. The lessons learned from the incidents at Three Mile Island, Fukushima and Chornobyl have led to improved and safer structures and revised management protocols designed to prevent future occurrences. Surprisingly, the latter event only resulted in 30 fatalities. The figure represents a tiny fraction of those occurring annually in thermal plants. Nevertheless, all generating facilities require skilled operators to ensure safe and efficient operation. In practice, the timely and secure transition to atomic energy can be more easily accomplished by employing a nuclear plant simulator to train the many new operators this increasingly urgent move will necessitate.
How Does a Nuclear Plant Simulator Work?
Simulations have become an invaluable training tool in numerous fields. In addition to the electricity generating industry, they have found applications in medicine, shipping and aerospace, to name just a few. They are not a new concept but have been used for millennia, albeit in a much simpler form. For example, the Romans utilised mechanical devices as dummy opponents when training gladiators and soldiers. Medieval knights employed similar structures to develop their jousting skills. The first use of a computerised simulator was by the airlines to familiarise trainee pilots with an aircraft’s controls. Since then, simulations have found their way into millions of homes in the form of computer games.
A nuclear plant simulator employs gaming technology to create a visually realistic, interactive environment that closely matches the layout of a live control room. Just as gamers can use an avatar to perform tasks or adopt a first-person role, simulated training programmes offer trainees one of these options to operate the virtual controls and observe the effects of their actions.
Why a Nuclear Plant Simulator is More Effective Than Conventional Training Methods
The classroom and a few simple visual aids are more than adequate when teaching theory. However, practical skills can only be acquired through practical activities. Learning on the job may be feasible in some occupations, but the Chernobyl incident clearly showed that allowing untrained personnel to operate a power station’s controls can be hazardous. Simulations offer some distinct advantages:
- The virtual learning environment is more compelling
Just as people of all ages have become almost addicted to playing computer games like Minecraft, Candy Crush and Super Mario Brothers, a well-crafted training simulation also has the power to capture and hold a learner’s attention and can do so far more effectively than most human instructors. In effect, the combination of audiovisual input and feedback can transform what many might otherwise consider a chore into a fun challenge.
- Learners’ mistakes have no real-world consequences
Fear of making mistakes can lead to a loss of confidence and significantly slow a trainee’s progress. Given the nature of an atomic power plant, one can understand such fears. That said, mistakes can be a powerful learning experience. In a simulated working environment, a learner is free to make errors and observe the potential consequences while posing no danger to others or the plant.
- Learners can train anywhere at anytime
The only requirements for this form of training are a computer and the simulation software. Trainees may access the programmes where and when they are free to do so. They can spend as long as necessary on a task to perfect it. Furthermore, networking the software will enable large groups to practice simultaneously and a trainer to oversee each individual’s actions remotely.
Ready to Purchase or Develop a Nuclear Plant Simulator?
Why not contact us about the world-class simulated training solutions developed by SimGenics? Alternatively, you might prefer to look at a powerful software package we can supply to help you create highly effective training simulations in-house.