Lockheed Martin has signed an agreement with China’s State Nuclear Power Automation System Engineering Company (SNPAS) to prototype, manufacture and qualify reactor protection systems for China’s Generation III reactors.
More specifically, Lockheed Martin and SNPAS (a subsidiary of SNPTC) will develop a nuclear safety instrumentation and control platform, based on field programmable gate array (FPGA) technology. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, according to a 12 June statement.
The FPGA-based platform will specifically address safety and regulatory concerns related to software common-cause failures in digital nuclear safety systems. The platform could be applied both in new plant deployment and in safety system upgrades for existing power plants, says Lockheed Martin.
"Nuclear safety is the most critical requirement for civilian nuclear power plants. SNPAS is dedicated to developing safe and reliable, advanced instrumentation and control solutions in order to meet China’s demand for safe and efficient development of nuclear power," said Qiu Shaoyang, general manager of SNPAS. "We believe that the co-operation between SNPAS and Lockheed Martin will provide safer and more secure technical solutions and equipment for nuclear power plants worldwide."
Lockheed Martin and SNPAS have submitted a Licensing Topical Report to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and China National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) for generic digital safety instrumentation and control platforms that could be used in US, Chinese and international nuclear power plants. The NRC and NNSA are currently reviewing the report.