Curtiss-Wright revamping computer system at Columbia nuclear plant

Curtiss-Wright’s Nuclear Division will replace the existing plant process computer (PPC) system at the Columbia Generating Station in Washington state.

Utility operator Energy Northwest selected Curtiss-Wright to provide complete equipment design and build for PPC system upgrade. This will include hardware, software and installation support services.

The 1.1-GW Columbia plant (pictured) has been generating carbon-free nuclear power for most of the past 37 years. Energy Northwest recently took the plant offline for its scheduled refueling and maintenance outage.

“Curtiss-Wright is proud to be selected as the supplier for Energy Northwest’s Plant Process Computer Replacement,” said Kurt Mitchell, Vice President and General Manager of Curtiss-Wright’s Nuclear Division. “Our technology, as well as our experienced technical team, will allow Columbia to achieve its project objectives with a highly-reliable and cost-effective solution. At the core of our solution lies our R*TIME software – a real-time data acquisition and visualization platform that will provide Columbia plant operators with rapid, actionable insights to improve operations and performance in support of the plant’s 20-year extension.”

PPC systems play a vital role in sustaining the safe and reliable operation of nuclear power plants. PPC systems collect data from across the plant’s operations, process the data into vital information, and display the information for plant personnel to continuously monitor and diagnose performance.

Curtiss-Wright has over 35 years of experience supplying PPC systems with more than 40 installations worldwide. The Columbia PPC system upgrade commenced in the first quarter and will be completed in four phases over the next five years.

Columbia Generating Station entered operation in 1984. It is powered by GE boiling water reactors and contains more than 700 fuel assemblies.

Nuclear power plants account for about 20 percent of the U.S. electricity generation resource mix.

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