Case Study

Custom Simulation Tool for Risk Evaluation at Nuclear Power Plants for Alion Science and Technology

Friday June 3, 2016

Alion sought to make numerous improvements to the CASA Grande source code to support their consulting services and actively develop a market for users in the nuclear utility community. However, the Nuclear Services Division (NSD) of Alion did not possess the internal expertise in statistics, computer science, or software quality assurance necessary to adequately achieve these project objectives in-house. Therefore, Alion contracted SIMCON to engage in a long-term partnership and address the following client challenges:

  • Acquire additional expertise and bandwidth in statistics and software development
  • Develop and verify new features and enhancements for CASA Grande
  • Establish and manage a comprehensive software quality assurance program
  • Defend CASA Grande methodologies and results against NRC scrutiny
  • Position CASA Grande software for public release and licensing
  • Design and conduct analyses to support utilities with license submittals and GSI-191 resolution
  • Respond to ongoing inquiries from nuclear utility clients (e.g., individual nuclear utilities)

In summary, Alion needed help transitioning the prototype CASA Grande program into a commercial software package that could stand up to NRC scrutiny and be used to support nuclear power plants in the successful resolution of GSI-191. Their internal engineering team was not equipped to address these client challenges, and Alion contracted SIMCON to provide the technical support and expertise necessary to meet their objectives.