Advanced process modelling using high-fidelity predictive models coupled with experimental or plant data has become standard practice for optimizing process design and operation in the chemicals and petrochemicals industries, and for accelerating innovation in pharmaceuticals.

In these sectors, digitalization initiatives across the R&D – Engineering Design – Operations spectrum are continually pushing the boundaries in terms on what can be achieved via model-based analytical techniques combined with the ever-increasing amount of data available. Nuclear decommissioning, with its unique challenges, can benefit significantly from such practices.

This seminar explores how the nuclear sector and the industry in general can benefit not only from shared, standardised modelling techniques and approaches, but also the introduction of best practices from other industry sectors. This can help to accelerate innovation while ensuring a consistent and co-ordinated approach between R&D, operators, consultancies and engineering companies. The theory is illustrated with current process modelling applications from organisations such as Sellafield Ltd, National Nuclear Laboratory and DBD. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and International Atomic Energy Agency will give an overview of their strategies, direction of industry trends and provide their take on the necessity for adopting advanced process modelling.


08:30–09:15 Registration
09:15–09:20 Welcome remarks
Azim Ahmed, Process Systems Enterprise
09:20–09:40 IAEA considerations on nuclear decommissioning: 3D modelling and simulations
Vladimir Michal, International Atomic Energy Agency

This IAEA presentation provides an overview of the main activities of the Agency in support of Member States in their preparations for, and the safe implementation of, nuclear facility decommissioning. It introduces IAEA guidelines, collaborative projects, the International Decommissioning Network (IDN), ARTEMIS peer review mechanisms and E-tools among others. Vladimir Michal will present examples of 3D modelling and simulations by several cooperating organizations as well as some new initiative(s) planned for implementation over the short and mid-term.
09:40–10:00 Modelling & Analysis in Nuclear Decommissioning: Collaboration to foster standard practices
Olga Tolmachova, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

The NDA estate is moving towards a collaborative approach for sharing and standardising practices across the group. One NDA modelling and analysis group is setting up as a collaborative space where modellers and analysts work together finding more efficient and effective ways to tackle complex problems and decisions faced by the nuclear decommissioning industry. Olga Tolmachova, from NDA’s Modelling & Analysis team, will outline this initiative.
10:00–10:40 The central role of advanced process modelling in a digital world
Costas Pantelides, Process Systems Enterprise

High-fidelity modelling is at the heart of the optimization of large-scale process operations in the petrochemicals industry, major digital design initiatives by the pharma industry, and recent digital operations initiatives for monitoring, forecasting and real-time optimization. Costas Pantelides, PSE MD and a professor at Imperial College London describes some of the recent innovations being driven by the digitalization wave that have enabled the development of a sophisticated platform for online, embedded applications, high-performance computing (HPC), cloud-based execution capabilities and many other initiatives.
10:40–11:00 Refreshment break
11:00–11:30 Integrated Nuclear Digital Environment – Optimizing the lifecycle of nuclear plant
Mark Bankhead, National Nuclear Laboratory

In decommissioning planning we face key challenges associated with the availability of data to support decisions and the dynamically changing nature of decommissioning operations that push modelling and simulation to the forefront of decision making. We will present NNL is leading thinking on digitalization of nuclear decommissioning and will highlight example projects where we are applying this thinking to integrate data management and process simulation.
11:30–12:00 Nuclear effluents abatement: Integration using advanced process modelling
Iain Docherty, Sellafield Ltd

Sellafield is continuously developing and utilising a diverse range of models to support our mission of High Hazard Risk Reduction. These are integrated and aligned at all levels of the organisation in order to provide the most suitable output for business requirements.
Within our modelling portfolio, the versatility of gPROMS ModelBuilder has allowed us to connect process engineering models with a wide range of software packages, such PHREEQC and MATLAB, in order to create bespoke solutions for our industry. The presentation will focus on both these aspects and their role within Sellafield
12:00–12:30 Models as Decision-Making Tools / Modellers as Engineers
Scott Williamson-Owens, DBD International

As a modeller, it is tempting to allow the label to define you, to the exclusion of the skill-set that you are actually providing for your customers. Similarly, models can become an end in themselves, rather than a tool to help solve a problem. Scott Williamson-Owens will talk about the pitfalls of this viewpoint and how to avoid them. Scott will also present his thoughts on the use of tools like gPROMS to allow Process Engineers to express their skills and avoid the reliance on “coders”, and discuss the few remaining gaps that coding can fill.
12:30–14:00 Lunch
14:00–14:30 Multiscale Process Simulation by Combining Subgrid Modeling and Computational Fluid Dynamics
Ashkan Davoodi, Siemens

The combination of CFD and advanced process modelling provides powerful capabilities to combine complex chemistry and mixing effects when both need to be taken into account. This presentation describes the principles, practice and benefits of combining the two technologies, leveraging the strong nuclear application background of SIEMENS.
14:30–15:00 State-of-the-art model-based tools to assist organizations in digitalization workflows
Mayank Patel, Process Systems Enterprise

Advanced process modelling is a key means to bring deep process knowledge to digitalization of both design and operations. It provides not only a way to turn the increasing volumes of plant and laboratory data now available into useful information, but also to use that information to generate value in the form of optimized process design and operation, and better monitored and controlled processes. Mayank Patel describes the practical steps to creating value rapidly from existing modelling investment through to operations.
15:00–16:00 Q&A & discussion, facilitated by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and International Atomic Energy Agency
All speakers
16:00–16:05 Closing remarks
Azim Ahmed, Process Systems Enterprise

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For any queries, please contact Lylia Djebaili

Register now

Date & Time
23 October 2019
09:15 – 16:05
(lunch will be provided)

The Engine Rooms at Birchwood Park
Warrington, WA3 6YN


Who should attend
Managers and senior technologists with an interest in the application of modelling to address complex nuclear industry challenges.