On February 26, 2021, the Institute of Nuclear Physics and Technology and the Higher Engineering School of National Research Nuclear University MEPhI presented their work on a large-scale project to create a digital twin of a research nuclear reactor.

This project is implemented within the framework of a modern approach to the formation of competencies in the field of digital engineering – from design (CAD) and mathematical rationale of object parameters (CAE) to production, operation, etc. (CAM, PDM, PLM,…).

At the stage of design and calculation of characteristics, it is convenient to use virtual reality (VR). At the first stage, which is currently being implemented, there is a creation of a virtual analogue of the research reactor IRT, but later it is planned to create a full-fledged digital twin – a virtual object that has embedded mathematical models of the processes and actively uses information from sensors placed on a real object.

Students of nuclear engineering specialties will be able to run a “virtual practice” undertaking a set of practical projects, because actions in virtual reality with a high degree of realism convey what is happening on the real object.

This project can become a “pilot” for the creation of such digital twins for all research nuclear reactors and critical assemblies in Russia, where it will be possible to explore different approaches to their creation and test the effectiveness of various digital technologies.

In the future, the project should create a full-fledged digital twin of the MEPhI IRT reactor – with all the geometry, mathematics and physics, that is, the building, equipment, communications, electrics, and all the physical processes that take place.

More information can be found here: https://mephi.ru/press/news/17341