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VCU’s nuclear reactor simulator provides a real time simulation of the operation of a nuclear power plant. Student developed LabVIEW programs display the controls and instrumentation of a reactor control room on twenty eight computer monitors, thirteen of which are touchscreens. Changing reactor conditions are calculated with the best-estimate nuclear system analysis code RETRAN-3D. Simulator design provides for the interaction between student reactor operators and an instructor through instructor driven reactor transients. The simulator is used as a teaching tool for VCU engineering students and for public education and community outreach. The VCU nuclear simulator is an ongoing senior design project suitable for computer science, mechanical and nuclear engineering, and electrical engineering students. Upgrades to the system under consideration include remote access to the simulator, expanded plant event capabilities, the addition of new reactor designs such as a boiling water reactor, and performance and user interface enhancements.

Publication Date



mechanical and nuclear engineering, nuclear reactor


Engineering | Mechanical Engineering | Nuclear Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

James Miller

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Rosa Bilbao y Leon

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2015

Nuclear Reactor Simulator