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Digital Engineering

Independent Verification & Validation

Digital Upgrades

Cyber Security

Independent Software Verification & Validation

Digital I&C systems offer higher reliability, better plant performance and additional diagnostic capabilities. However, digital I&C systems require additional design and qualification approaches than are typically employed for analog control systems. Digital I&C control systems are fundamentally different from analog I&C systems in that minor errors in design and implementation can cause them to exhibit unexpected behavior.

The use of inspections, type testing, and acceptance testing of digital systems and components alone does not accomplish design qualification at a high confidence level. High confidence in the digital I&C system quality, however, can be obtained by using a high quality development engineering process that incorporates disciplined specification and implementation of design requirements. As part of the high quality engineering process, rigorous software V&V life cycle methodologies are necessary.

Life cycle methodologies are compliant with the IEEE Standard 1012-1998 which states that V&V is the process of determining whether:

  • Requirements for a system or component are complete and correct.
  • Products of each development phase fulfill the requirements or conditions imposed by the previous phase.
  • Final systems or components comply with specified requirements and their intended use.

The IV&V process assesses the software in the context of the system, including the operational environment; hardware; interfacing software, operators, and users.

Altran can develop your IV&V program to ensure system safety and minimize unnecessary trips. We can:

  • Perform independent design review and verification of the followings to ensure system/software requirements are correct, complete, consistent, and accurate; and designed and implemented correctly:
    • System requirements specification
    • Software requirements specification
    • Software detailed design description
    • Application software logic functional diagrams
    • Application software source code
  • Develop Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM); perform requirements tracing, and analyze traces to ensure requirements are traceable, implemented and tested completely; and to facilitate design change process.
  • Perform various analysis tasks to ensure that your project risk is minimized as early as possible.
  • Develop and execute test plans, and test specifications/procedures to ensure that the system/software requirements are completely and correctly validated.
  • Recommend and plan/perform additional system testing based on the simplified typical application under the configured hardware platform in order to confirm the principles of operation and obtain confidence in the system.
  • Perform a response time test to validate throughput and response time analysis.
  • Provide an IV&V Report summarizing the findings and outcomes from the IV&V process.

Utilizing this IV&V process can ensure high confidence and safety in the digital I&C systems while saving the power plant Owner from unnecessary unit trips. These unit trips result in thousands of dollars lost, and wasted precious time when trying to expediently come up from the maintenance outage.

Digital Upgrades

Our San Francisco Office (SFO) is the Center of Excellence for Digital Control Systems Upgrade Consulting. Our comprehensive capabilities include Planning, Implementation, and Installation as well as experienced in completing successful upgrades, on time and on budget.


Using our Control Systems Upgrade Advisor (Advisor) software tool set, we'll prioritize your I&C systems, enabling plant owners to establish a rational, defensible, long-term risk versus benefit assessment process. The process combines generic and plant-specific considerations derived from Standard Review Plan, INPO AP-913, expert panel input and pilot implementation lessons at several plants.

We'll assist you in developing your overall Strategic Plan followed by the Conceptual Design and Functional Requirements Specification, which includes the I/O list, for each system. Since we're a participant in the EPRI Diversity and Defense in-Depth (D3) Working Group, we are up to speed on acceptable licensing methods to address digital Common Cause Failures (digital CCFs). We work with you on the development of control system hardware and HMI standards to help insure that multiple, incremental upgrade projects avoid proliferation of one-off computing equipment and HMI but fulfill D3 requirements. This standardization is critical to managing downstream maintenance and training costs and ensuring a simple and consistent environment for plant operators.

Altran will develop guidelines for the planning and implementation of DCS upgrade projects as well as validation, training and assistance with the implementation of reviewed and revised design procedures. We'll also develop the total job cost.


Our 10CFR50 Appendix B QA program enables us to develop and implement Design Change Packages (DCPs) and includes assistance with preparation of 10CFR50.59 safety evaluations. We've integrated our QA program with plant procedures so we can produce DCP deliverables in plant-specific formats.

Altran has personnel whose expertise includes System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) processes related to design and implementation of DCS projects as well as V&V oversight, FAT/SAT and post-installation test procedures and Configuration Management plans.

We offer a complete range of independent review services as well training on development and implementation of design procedures. We also offer a global training program on digital control systems in nuclear plant applications. And our design and implementation generally includes consideration for spare parts, calibration, hot-swap or planned off-line maintenance, and the impact of maintenance intervals on system operability.


We offer post-installation testing support for digital control systems and component upgrade projects and we complete the process by offering comprehensive project close-out services that include compilation and review of documents, drawings, databases, etc., that are part of the client-specific design change processes.


The following list is just a small sampling of successful projects we have completed. Let us show you our capabilities. Altran Solutions would be happy to add your project to this list - ask us how.


Project Title



Detailed Job Estimate for the RPS-7100 Replacement System.



Development of Human Machine Interface (HMI) Guideline.



U2 and U1 DCP for GE TARS and Plant Process Computers (PPC).



U2 Digital Feedwater Control System (DFWCS) Detailed Design.



I&C Modernization Strategies.             



U2 and U1 Digital Upgrade Conceptual Design and Total Implementation Cost Estimates – Control Systems And PPC.



Training Program on Microprocessor Control Systems for Regional Inspectors.


Wolf Creek

Development of DCS Upgrade Project Implementations Strategy.



Development of DCS Upgrade Prioritization Strategy. 2004

Fort Calhoun Station

Developed the Digital Equipment Design Guidance (PED-GEI-76).


Fort Calhoun Station

Developed the Digital Equipment Design Considerations (PED-GEI-75).


Altran provided training on Digital I&C to the NRC's Regional Inspectors.

Cyber Security

In nuclear facilities, many monitoring, control and protection systems are linked to digital networks that extend across the plant, performing safety, security and emergency preparedness functions. Protecting these critical digital assets from sabotage or malicious use is called cyber security. All power reactor facilities licensed by the NRC must have a cyber security program.

All nuclear power plants are required by 10CFR73, Section 54, "Protection of Digital Computer and Communication Systems and Networks" to protect digital computer and communications systems and networks performing the following categories of functions from those cyber attacks that would act to modify, destroy, or compromise the integrity or confidentiality of data and/or software; deny access to systems, services, and/or data' and impact the operation of systems, networks, and associated equipment.

  • Safety-related and important-to safety functions
  • Security functions
  • Emergency preparedness functions, including offsite communications
  • Support systems and equipment which, if compromised, would adversely impact safety, security, or emergency preparedness functions

Altran has the necessary experience to assist you in accomplishing this endeavor. Currently, we are working on PGE Diablo Canyon Power Plant's cyber security implementation project. In addition, we have worked on several digital I&C projects, such as feedwater control, turbine control, reactor protection systems, Plant Process Computer (PPC) replacements, and Safety Parameter Display System (SPDS) replacements. We have extensive experience in the plant data network (PDN) design and emergency facility data systems.

Pacific Gas & Electric - Diablo Canyon Power Plant

The requirements set forth in 10CFR73.54 require the installation of a data diode to provide a deterministic boundary device between the PDN and the Plant "business network". This addition may force changes to the existing systems that support plant engineering; emergency facilities (EOF and TSC); and the simulator.

Altran's cyber security experts are experienced and are aware of the current evaluation processes with regard to NEI 08-09, Revision 6, the newer NEI guidance in NEI-10-04, 10-08 and 10-09, as well as NRC Regulatory Guide 5.71 and NRC Regulatory Guide 1.152, Revision 2 and Revision 3 (draft).

Altran can develop your cyber security program to be compliant to 10CFR73.54 regulation. For your cyber security program we can develop, implement, and maintain your: 

  • Physical Protection Program
  • Cyber Security Controls
  • Defense-In-Depth Protective Strategies
  • Ongoing Monitoring and Assessment Program
  • Addition & Modification of Digital Assets
  • Attack Mitigation and Incident Response
  • Cyber Security Contingency Plan
  • Cyber Security Training and Awareness Program
  • Policies and Implementing Procedures
  • Roles and Responsibilities Matrix
  • Cyber Security Program Review Process
  • Document Control and Records Retention and Handling Program