A system installed at the training centre of Russia's Novovoronezh nuclear power plant is giving workers a new perspective on the VVER-1200 design. The new 3D holographic display technology could grow to be more widely applied in nuclear power training.
The two nuclear reactors under construction at Novovoronezh Phase II are the first of the VVER-1200 design which Rosatom hopes will form the basis of a new standardised fleet for Russia. Accordingly, the site hosts a centre where future plant workers, as well as Rosatom's overseas customers, are trained in the construction, operation and maintenance of the design.
According to the blog Publication.ru, this effort is being complemented by new technology in the shape of NettleBox systems that display highly realistic 3D models described as 'virtual holograms' because of the convincing way they penetrate space behind and in front of the screen. The technology comes from a start-up called Nettle, which is based in the Skolkovo innovation cluster near Moscow that supports new technology in the fields of IT, biomed, energy, space and nuclear.
The Nettlebox system is based on a large 3D screen used horizontally like a tabletop combined with 3D glasses that the system uses to track the position of the viewer and adjust the perspecitive accordingly. With a display speed of 900 frames per second and tracking accuracy of 1mm, the effect is said to be highly convincing.
Using a highly detailed 3D model of the plant design and complemented by photo research by the Nettle modellers, every part of the nuclear power plant and its 450 hectare site can be seen at any scale and angle. The model can be animated to illustrate the power generation process, even depicting realistic workers moving around inside the buildings. Bringing up design information on any component, workers can gain familiarity with parts that are normally out of reach either physically or because of radiological limits, such as the components of the reactor core itself or the primary circuit.