Digital strategy of nuclear sector development

Following the already established trend of digital transformation of global world economy, nuclear industry is moving towards post-industrial development. The distinctive feature of the atomic industry transformation is the comprehensive implementation of information processes into all spheres of activity in the field of atomic energy use.

In Russia, a Digital strategy of nuclear sector development designed by the State Atomic Energy Corporation “ROSATOM” is currently being implemented. This strategy established, among other things, broad implementation of modern computer programmes for nuclear facilities simulation, digitization of key processes for development and safety review of innovative nuclear technologies, development and implementation of intelligent systems using various ways of machine learning, as well as broad implementation of digital twins into life-cycle management of nuclear facilities.

SEC NRS as a technical and scientific support organization to Rostechnadzor is committed to the principle of giving priority to the safe use of atomic energy. In this regard, it is involved in shaping an approach to justification and assessment of modern digital technologies used in the nuclear industry. The year 2018 was marked by introducing the amendments into the Federal Law “On the use of atomic energy”, which settled a 25-year successful practice of computer codes review applied in the process of safety analysis. For detailed information about SEC NRS approaches and practices on the software evaluation, as well as on the challenges associated with the safety review of modern digital technologies, refer to one of the articles in this issue of this newsletter.

In this newsletter, we also tried to give examples of SEC NRS R&D on development of in-house computer technologies used within scientific and technical support for safety regulation. First of all, it is necessary to mention the completed works on creation and validation of simulation models for deep disposal facilities for liquid radioactive waste (DDF LRW), and performed predictive calculations of long-term safety estimation for waste disposal after DDF LRW closure. To that end, the DDF LRW models, already established by SEC NRS, have been updated and new geofiltration and geomigration models have also been developed.

SEC NRS provides scientific and technical support to the Rostechnadzor Information and Analytical Center. As a part of this activity, our experts have developed a software tool for automatic evaluation of an event significance level based on the INES methodology. This software was successfully tested at the Rostechnadzor Information and Analytical Center during emergency response drills at nuclear power plants and it was included into Nuclear Energy Agency Data Bank.

Digitalization is one of the key areas of the ongoing improvement of the state regulation system in the use of atomic energy. For example, introduction of digital systems for on-site monitoring and control at industrial facilities provides the possibility to evaluate the accidental risk online depending on the facility operation. However, large-scale implementation of such systems in the control and oversight activity needs to deal with issues related to information and cybersecurity. The global nature of cybercrime allows no other organization to deal with cyberthreats alone, however to minimize the cyberthreats implications, to make the digital world more secure, it would be possible only together, by pooling our efforts. In this regard, this newsletter reflects the SEC NRS experience in defending our information resources against cyberthreats.

A. Khamaza, PhD,
SEC NRS Director, ETSON Vice-president.