Keynote 4 (August 27, 2015)
Dr. Francois Dionis, Dr. Anne-Sophie Hintzy
EDF/R&D STEP Dept., I&C Group, FRANCE.

Is it possible to simulate an outage with the point of view of operation activities?

Today, outages are prepared manually, by dedicated teams, in charge of coordinating maintenance activities and operation activities according to safety rules (the "Tech Specs"), in an optimized schedule. The goal is to "secure" the schedule, meaning that the outage duration has to be respected.

The first phase consists in defining the objectives and the slots of the planning. At this stage, teams have to evaluate the impact of planned maintenance on the availability of the circuits and to establish an operation strategy according to safety constraints. They have to get guaranties from maintenance teams that the maintenance activities are secured (human resources, spare parts, duration, habilitations, etc.) and analyze, plant mode per plant mode, the feasibility of operation (i.e. will we be able to restart this circuit, according to the plant state?, will we be able to manage the effluents?).

The second phase is focused on the tagout strategy. It consists in analyzing the impact of work orders on the plant equipments, and in evaluating the needs of draining, lining, filling, testing and re-qualifying the circuits. All these activities have to be synchronized and modeled as schedule tasks.

The third phase is the risk analysis. Teams have to verify the margins (how long is my task sub-critical?), the availability of supplies (electricity, air), of rooms (gamma radio-photography, painting, scaffoldings), of I&C systems, etc. They also have to prepare alternative strategies in case of unexpected events during equipment inspections.

We, at EDF/R&D, think that it is now possible to propose tools that can automatically verify the feasibility of an outage schedule. It is possible to request data in different sources, such as the schedule, the tagout and lineup software, the CAD drawings (mechanical, P&ID and electrical), the equipments database, to model this information and to provide tools that can assist the outage teams in verifying the schedule. The idea is to reuse existing software, such as lineups visualization tools, P&ID and electrical drawings visualization tools, impact propagation tools. We also expect more standardized activities, based on reuse of standardized tagouts and lineups.

The expected benefits are potentially important, during the preparation phase and also during the outage, in case of unexpected event.