Nuclear Sector / Renewables

Nuclear Sector

At the heart of the sector, Caneco software is used in the design of nuclear and renewable energy power plants.




ALPI software plays a major role in the development of study methods in nuclear construction:

In 2010, the SNEF was awarded the studies contract for the General Electrical Installations (IEG) work section in the Comurhex II Project in Pierrelatte (in the Drôme). Initiated by AREVA, this modernisation of its uranium conversion plant portends the construction of six new buildings.

The client requires both the use of 3D design software and management of all the cables and electrical equipment in a single database. Following discussions with the different service providers and a presentation of the ALPI software suite at the beginning of 2010, the SNEF finally decided to meet these requirements with a unique tool, Caneco Implantation MEP.
We decided on Caneco Implantation MEP because of the features of its database management” explained Nicolas Lacour, SNEF Project Manager. He went on to add that “After a training course organised in situ, we knew we could rely on excellent support from the ALPI teams.

Another software package in the ALPI software suite, Caneco BT, is used by the SNEF to dimension the low voltage electrical installation.
As regards Caneco Implantation MEP, it enables the routing of the cables and the implementation of the electrical equipment in the AutoCad digital layout (AutoCAD® MEP). This tool enables the association of graphic objects (including electrical conduits) with electrical properties in the form of databases. In the words of the Project Manager, “For the first time, AREVA required us to manage everything, down to the terminal circuits (aerial connections, pipes, etc. Caneco Implantation was the only software on the market that provided a solution to this requirement.
For this project, ALPI also introduced specific developments such as the retrieval of routing data to measure the mechanical stresses on the cable tray supports.

For the same project, the SNEF implemented innovative working methods designed to ensure interoperability in the study phase at group level. This initiative, which was consolidated in the study of the first two buildings, was based on new software tools, its purpose being to improve the accuracy of the studies and hence the level of site preparation. Mr Lacour further observed “These new methods will save time and enhance study efficiency in regard to the four remaining buildings. Looking beyond the Comurhex II Project, the nuclear sector is a forerunner of what will happen in the industrial sector and, later on, the commercial sector. The use of tools like these, enabling 3D design, interactive models and assistance with dimensioning, will soon be indispensable to all major projects.

The Comurhex II Project - facts and figures:

  • Client: Comurhex (AREVA NC)
  • Project Management: SGN
  • Contractor for the IEG Studies Section: SNEF – Nuclear and Major Projects
  • Studies Section, 6 Buildings: first two buildings completed, four others in progress
  • Over 10,000 cables and 50,000 hours of studies on the project as a whole
  • Over 15,000 hours of use of the ALPI software suite


ALPI software used for solar plant conception:

- Thermal-solar boiler (South Africa) : CMI HRS company, based in Belgium, used Caneco BT to study Khi Solar One plant built by the Spanish company Abengoa Solar. This 50 MW solar tower plant is setup in Upington (South Africa).

Solar tower Khi Solar One

Read more about this project: CMI Energy website or Abengoa Solar


and also:

- General Electrical Installations section for the Comurhex II extension, carried out by the SNEF with Caneco Implantation and Caneco BT software.

- Comurhex and Georges Besse II plants in the Areva Group

- ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) Prototype

- Daya Bay Power Plant (China)

- The Megajoule Laser

- CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission) Site, Cadarache

- CEA Site, Valduc

- Pierrelatte CX2 Project

- Jules Horowitz Reactor (CEA)