Every year, nuclear power plants must shut down to refuel and perform maintenance on its reactors. In addition, there is the periodic shutdown due to unexpected equipment issues and other factors. Every day a plant is down costs millions of dollars in loss revenue and it deprives the power grid of a major source of electricity which can have an impact on reliability. The challenge is that restarting the power plant is complex, so following efficient restart procedures is essential to minimize downtime.

For EDF of France which is the world's largest producer of electricity with the vast majority of it coming from nuclear, minimizing downtime is key to maintaining revenue and needed power. To speed clip_image001the restart process, the company’s R&D department deployed a dynamic diagram solution based on Microsoft Visio Professional so engineers can diagrammatically visualize startup process information across multiple databases, saving time on the plant’s restart.

The results of EDF’s efforts are:

• At-a-glance information for quicker reactor restart decisions

• Safer, faster restart processes

• Simple deployment

• Seamless interoperability with Microsoft Office and Microsoft SharePoint

To quote François Dionis, Senior Research Engineer, EDF-R&D, “We can now visualize conflicts ... before they happen, and we can take steps to resolve them right away.”

The Visio based solution is making a major difference at EDF both from an operational and financial perspective. For more details on the impact we are having at EDF you can take a look at the full case study here. – Jon C. Arnold