CNEFS News and Events
- CNEFS work features in CCEE Newsletter:
Can virtual reality gaming platforms be used to better manage the construction of nuclear power facilities?
Can gaming engines originally designed for entertainment be useful in the construction of nuclear power plants? DRS. ABHINAV GUPTA and KEVIN HAN think so. Gupta brings experience in structural engineering, while Han’s expertise lies in construction engineering management. They have a common interest in computational modeling and the desire to diminish risk and avoid unneeded costs and delays on construction projects. The virtual performance management system they’re developing is targeted to the nuclear energy industry, but is applicable to any industry. With the use of 3-D Building Information Modeling (BIM), engineers and contractors now have the ability to compare ‘as-planned’ models with ‘as-built’ models. The technology that Gupta and Han are developing takes it one step further by capturing the progress and quality of fabricated components that are manufactured at off-site facilities. “There is no current technology that incorporates manufacturing progress as part of construction progress,” Han says. “By capturing performance of the supply chain, there is opportunity for digital record generation and management.” This is especially relevant to nuclear energy facilities where there is a heavy burden on documentation of progress and quality. This requirement for documentation has been an ongoing challenge and burden for smaller companies. “Imagine that you are having a very large steam turbine manufactured in Japan for a nuclear plant being built in the U.S. It is massive, weighs many tons, and will be expensive to ship to the construction site. We can use virtual reality to bring it to the site and confirm it fits properly,” Gupta explains.
First image: Building components are scanned off-site, and then their construction fit can be examined virtually, long before they arrive on-site. Second image: Drs. Kevin Han and Abhinav Gupta have been researching and developing this technology since 2018 with funding from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program and Idaho National Labs where they work in partnership with a Versatile Test Reactor team. In mid-2020, Han and Gupta applied for and received a disclosure for patent for their virtual performance management system.
- On February 24th, 2020, Harleen won the People’s Choice Award for her presentation in the 3-Minute Thesis Competition hosted by the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at NCSU.
- In February 2020, Alexis, Pragya, and Sangwoo presented their research at the 24th Structural Engineering & Mechanics Symposium.
- Saran Bodda received one of the three Shibata Early Career Awards for his paper entitled “Risk Informed Validation Framework of External Flooding Scenario.” Bodda’s research aims to develop and demonstrate a data-driven methodology for validation of advanced computer models used in nuclear power plant safety analysis.
- Saran and Ankit are awarded the Zia Graduate Fellowship in Structural Engineering for their contributions to increasing the stature of North Carolina State University and the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, and to honor the contributions of structural engineers in general.
- With support from the Office of Continuing Education, the Center (CNEFS) hosted the 25th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology from 4th – 9th August, 2019, at Charlotte. For more details, please visit: SMiRT 25
- In May, 2019, the Center (CNEFS) organizes a week long training session for Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) engineers.
- In March, 2019, the Center for Nuclear Energy Facilities and Structures (CNEFS) formally signed a research collaboration agreement with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP). CNEFS will assist in KHNP’s initiative to enhance the seismic resilience of nuclear structures and systems in South Korea. The KHNP delegation was led by Mr. Know Heon-Woo. The signing ceremony was held at D.H. Hill Library on NCSU campus.
- The Center faculty, Drs. Kevin Han and Abhinav Gupta, receive support from the U.S. Department of Energy to implement BIM for VTR i.e. to investigate various ways to integrate design, construction, and testing processes for the successful implementation and deployment of a new nuclear test reactor at a national laboratory. Through this integrated approach, all stakeholders have shared resources of knowledge to help identify and minimize risk during design, construction, and operation and maintenance phases.
- In 2018, the Center for Nuclear Energy Facilities and Structures (CNEFS) received the ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy – U.S. Department of Energy) research award for exploring Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions in the design of advanced nuclear reactors.
- In October, 2018, the Center hosted the SMiRT 25 planning meeting at James B. Hunt Jr. Library on NCSU campus. It also included guided tours of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library and the Constructed Facilities Lab (CFL) on NCSU campus.
- In October, 2018, the Center students, Saran Srikanth Bodda and Ankit Ramanand Dubey, travelled to the Dominion Energy office in Richmond VA, to give a short course on ANSYS – Modeling and Dynamic Analysis of Equipment and Piping.
- Giovanni Vargas-Rivera joined CNEFS as an Undergraduate Research Assistant under the RISE summer 2018 internship program.
- Faculty, family and students of CNEFS collectively volunteered for the annual citywide day of service – Service Raleigh, on April 14, 2018.
- CNEFS hosted the 25th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology. More details can be found at: SMiRT 25.
- Professor Nam Dinh received 2016 ANS Annual Technical Award.