The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has licensed Purdue University Reactor Number One (PUR-1) as the first entirely digital nuclear reactor instrumentation and control system in the country.
The upgraded facility in Indiana, originally built in 1962, could pave the way for implementation of digital technology in nuclear power plant reactors. Switching from analog technology to digital could extend the lifespan of existing nuclear facilities as well as increase operating efficiency in new builds.
“The primary advantage of switching to digital is in terms of the data available to the operator,” Robert Bean, PUR-1 facility director and assistant professor of nuclear energy at Purdue told Nuclear Energy Insider.
“Once the data has been digitized it is very straightforward to collect and save incredible amounts of data. This ‘big data’ is then available for an increased amount of analysis to determine optimal operation, to study behavior correlations, and to look for new relationships in the data that can inform further research.”
Nuclear Energy Insider – July 18, 2019.