As our customer makes a substantial contribution to our total supply of nuclear energy, there is a considerable responsibility for our customer to maintain a level of production that will continue to service the industry. It is therefore critical that our customer limits vulnerabilities in their processes at the plant to ensure steady production within a protected environment.
Uranium enrichment is a highly technical, scientific industry which uses world-leading centrifuge technology but, like all manufacturing businesses with such a long, successful history, they need to replace and update elements of their infrastructure to keep their operations running smoothly.
The problem that was outlined by our customer’s engineer, was that the network infrastructure supporting their manufacturing process was starting to have reliability issues. They had been experiencing an increasing number of failures and it was clear that the obsolete network now had to be brought up to date. The obsolete system provided connectivity with failover switching to a back-up but required substantial refurbishment and upgrading. This all had to be done, of course, without taking the plant offline. While the plant’s fail-safe systems are such that there was no way that an interruption would ever become dangerous, the loss of production as the processes were restarted and brought back into operation would be enormously expensive. Installing a new network would have to be done without affecting the manufacturing process.