BIM Nuclear Sector Case Study

BIM for the Nuclear Sector Case Study with CEA Marcoule & Assystem Paris

This case study will explain how a Nuclear facilities project made use of BIM during the completion of two effluent treatment facilities. Following which, they were then handed over to operations and maintenance – utilising REBIM® software.

The main BIM contractors on this project were Assystem Paris. They were responsible for the engineer, procurement, construct and management (EPCm) phase of the project

Assystem Paris were commissioned by CEA, the site licensed operator at Marcoule in the south of France.

This project was ongoing for approximately 1-2 years between 2017 and 2018. It finished in early 2018 and was REBIM’s first serious pilot project.

Before jumping into the case study, let’s take a look at the benefits of BIM in the Nuclear sector.

BIM for the Nuclear Sector

There’s a lot of talk about BIM having a big impact on the nuclear sector. And as so, REBIM® want to be right in the middle of that transformation.

This particular project (STEMA) was the first BIM project in French nuclear to be taken into active operations and maintenance (O&M).

The O&M handover stage is where REBIM® adds significant value to the construction industry – and to BIM in general.

We’re creating a seamless handover and a first-in-class system for operations & maintenance stage of a built environment. The nuclear sector is where we have a lot of experience too.

There’s more on how REBIM® supported this project in the upcoming sections of this article.

Nuclear BIM Case Study

Who are Assystem (Paris)?

Assystem Paris claim to be an enabler of energy and digital revolutions.

They help their clients to manage, design, build and improve the performance of infrastructure used for electricity production, transport systems and healthcare facilities.

Their overall aim is to put in place safe, high-performing and cost-efficient equipment and facilities that provide a best-in-class user experience.

They are an independent engineering group who specialise in designing and managing complex projects. Their project complexities are based on account of their size, technological content or functional, safety and security requirements.

The image below shows how an asset information hub gathers and manages the specific types of data.

Goals, Challenges & Benefits of BIM Project in a Nuclear Environment

The goal was to create a new-build unit for filtering and cementing radioactive effluents on the CEA Marcoule site.

There was a need for 2 separate units, one for dumping of effluents and another for the cementing process.

The build had a very complex layout due to strong implantation constraints as well as a need for advanced safety features.

All-in-all, there were 12,000 data elements including documentation, structured data and graphical data.

The project also placed a lot of focus on site surveys (point cloud scanning surveys) of the facility at Marcoule which is in Avignon. The technical BIM work was completed at the Assystem Lyon office.

There was a fundamental need to develop an asset model of the STEMA installation that would bring value during O&M.

The BIM work involved:

  • Verifying all the construction data against the constructed point cloud surveys of the actual equipment that was installed on site.
  • Simplifying the data, which included some very detailed nuts and bolts mechanical equipment. Sheer volume of data leads to increased time and effort in retrieval and exchange among stakeholders – this was a key element.
  • Adding any missing metadata to the equipment.
  • The 3D models were simplified for the end user audience.
  • All documents and equipment in the 3D model were aligned to the facility equipment lists to make the documents and data easier to find.

REBIM® – User-friendly BIM Software for Handover

REBIM® played an essential role in the Data clean up stages and handover to the asset management teams in a client friendly tool.

We supported the Assystem Paris management office in delivery of the project handover from construction to operations & maintenance.

The diagram below shows how REBIM® software provides a CDE for the overall model, which is then incorporated through many different systems, feeding into the central location.

BIM for the Nuclear Sector

Benefits Assessment

Below is an outline of the benefits realised by taking a data-centric approach and developing a clean asset model to deliver the new-build facility.

  1. Reduction in number of surveys:

Because measurements are made in the point cloud scan, there’s the ability to reduce the number of required surveys. Partly because a bill of quantities are extractable from the mock up.

  1. More effective preparation of interventions:

Using the data model approach, work-zones could be visualised prior to intervention. This preparation also allows for quicker access to plant configuration and information.

  1. Optimised implementation of modifications:

3D mock-up for use by the operator but also external contractors to implement modifications. It enables the operator to perform early clash management, as well as identify the most efficient and safe order in which to schedule works.

  1. Reduction in number of quality escapes:

This is provided by easier navigation, trace-ability and retrieval of information in the system.

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