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Cerberus Receives ARC Funding to Develop Criticality Safety VR Training Software

Article by - Stewart Hay on 4 March 2021

Cerberus Nuclear is a hub for innovation in criticality safety and radiation shielding and we are pleased to announce that we have made a successful application for funding from the UK’s Alpha Resilience and Capability (ARC) programme. ARC was created by BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) to ensure that the UK retains its world-leading alpha capabilities: from operations and maintenance, to high-end R&D and design. This cross-industry consortium includes the National Nuclear Laboratory, Sellafield Limited, AWE and ONR.

Over the last two years Cerberus Nuclear has developed CARTA, a concept for criticality safety VR (Virtual Reality) training software, which we successfully presented at ICNC2019. Uniquely, CARTA uses a machine learning algorithm to predict k-effective 'on the fly' for a given system, such as an alpha facility glovebox. When coupled to a VR headset, CARTA gives users an immersive experience of the facility environment and the effect of their actions on the system’s reactivity.

The ARC funding will support the next phase of development, to refine the concept into a software package for members of the ARC consortium to use. CARTA will deliver tangible benefits directly to operators on plant, criticality safety specialists and other stakeholders in criticality safety. The software package will use a variety of scenarios in desktop and VR environments, to provide intuitive user interfaces. The underpinning data will be based on accurate modelling of the neutron physics, providing a realistic environment for trainees to improve their understanding of the complexities associated with criticality safety.

The specifics of the training scenarios will be guided by a Technical Steering Committee, comprising stakeholders from the various ARC member organisations. This will ensure that the training scenarios are relevant and can be effectively integrated into their existing training programmes.

We are now actively seeking organisations that would benefit from bespoke criticality safety training scenarios. If you would like to discuss your idea, please get in touch using nuclear@cerberusnuclear.com.

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