PCTRAN is the most successful desktop simulator for all types of light water nuclear reactors. It is specifically designed for many different plant types, including PWR, BWR, advanced AREVA EPR, Westinghouse AP1000, GE ABWR, and ESBWR. PCTRAN's simulation scope extends to severe accidents and dose dispersion. Since its first introduction in 1985 by Micro-Simulation Technology, PCTRAN has been selected by the IAEA as the training platform for its annual Advanced Reactor Simulation workshop. Plant-specific models have been installed at nuclear power plants and institutions all over the world for practical application in training, analysis, probabilistic safety assessment, and emergency exercises.

Post-Fukushima "Stress Test" and FLEX methodology extend defense-in-depth to beyond the design-basis and external events. PCTRAN is the only simulator that provides fast-time training and exercise. Additional portable power suppy, water souce, alternate cooling means, etc. can be easily incorporated. Panel display mimics the actual Plant Comuter System (PCS) for enhanced training (New).



Recent (2013) Licensees

Chattanooga State Technical Community College has acquired PWR Ice Containment model for training its students working for TVA's Watts Barr plant.

Lockheed Martin Corporation has acquired APWR-US model for its contract work of control room human factor design in support for the Luminant Energy's project at Comanche Peak, Texas. It is the first APWR to be built outside Japan.

KEPCO International Nuclear Graduate School at Kori, Korea has acquired APR1400 for its curriculum of training international students towards advanced degrees.

Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS) has licensed our OPR1000 model for its International School training of visiting government officials on licensing issues.


Texas A&M University has just acquired multiple modules of PCTRAN - GE BWR 4, 5, 6, ABWR, Westinghouse PWR 4-loop and AP1000. Having the largest nuclear and near top-ranked engineering department in the US, these modules will be used in under and graduate classroom teaching. Further research projects on current and new generations of power plants will be investigated.

New VVER-1200 (or AES91 2006)

During and at the immediate aftermath of Fukushima, we analyzed all four units' evolutions and posted online. It turned out to be the only credible "forensic study" (see below). The capability and collection of PCTRAN models enable us to reproduce any real-life event instantly for any given light water reactor in the world. Since it is many times faster than real-time, projection to eventual consequence via various mitigation routes become possible. This elevates the tool's role way beyond traditional to another dimension.

Fukushima Event Anaysis

Unit 1 analysis was first completed within one week after the earthquake. Article was published in Nuclear Engineering International magazine July of 2011 issue. The "atomic forensics" was cited by New York Times on April 3, 2011.

Unit 3 study

Unit 4 spent fuel pool fire analysis is now available.

University of Massachusett at Lowell has acquired AP1000.

Southern Polytechnic State University at Marrietta, Georgia has acquired AP1000 and RadPuff.(New)

Southeast Community College at Lincoln, Nebreaska has acquired Cooper (GE-BWR1 Mark I) model.

PCTRAN is the most widely-used educational simulator in the world. Numerous universities, polytechnic institutes and two-year colleges went through various funding agencies for their acquisition. The process is always tedious, repetitive, and a waste of time and resource. In the era of "Cloud" computing, there should be a better way to put it on the cloud and accessible to everyone. We would like to solicit every nation’s nuclear agency to support this approach. Then once for all your entire educational institutions have the state-of-the-art tool and always keep up-to-date.

2011 Licensees

- The Center of Nuclear Technology Education Consortium (NTEC) in UK at University of Manchester has acquired our AP1000 and EPR modules.  The consortium is formed by 12 UK universities for education in support for transition the British nuclear power generation from GCR into G3 PWR era.  The software will be used in its dedicated "reactor codes and simulator suite" laboratory to run the simulator courses.  These universities grants Master and PhD degrees in addition to technical training in various fields.

- Nanking University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA) and Northeast DianLi (Electricity) University have acquired AP1000 module.

- Fukui University of Technology in Japan has got the latest versions of PCTRAN of PWR and BWR. It expands the capability to cold startup in normal operation and Fukushima-type severe accidents.

- Tsinghua University at Beijing, East China Institute of Technology, Shanghai Jiaotong and Xian Jiaotong have obtained AP-1000 for their education and research.

- Tsinghua University in Taiwan has obtained the high-temperature gas reactor model for its joint project between Taiwan and US on Generation 4 reactor development.

- Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey got both PWR and BWR for its new nuclear engineering program.

IAEA Award of a VVER-1000 Simulator for Vietnam

The United Nations agency has awarded a contract to MST to prepare a PC-based simulator of the Russian-designed NPP for Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (VARANS). It was delivered and a training class was conducted in Hanoi in March of 2011. New VVER-1200 model has passive heat removal systems and enhanced double-containment.

North Anna Earthqake Analysis

The August 23 earthquake at the North Anna Nuclear Plant site at Mineral, Virginia in USA was measured Scale 5.8 – “uncomfortably close” to its design limit of 6.2.  There are 2 units of Westinghouse 3-loop PWR of 900 MW electric output each.  Four diesel generators started as expected after the grid loss and reactor shutdown.  But one failed shortly after and the remaining three were able to provide heat removal.  The grid was later recovered so that no damage has occurred.  Should more diesels fail or the grid power not resumed for as little as 5 hours, our analysis shows that the consequence could be serious. 

North Anna is basically the same as the Spanish Vandellos II and Taiwanese Maanshan (Horse Saddle Mountain) plants.  MST has delivered its PCTRAN plant specific models to both sites since early 90’s and thus is familiar with their transient and accident behavior. For an earthquake-induced loss of offsite power (LOOP) event the FSAR has analyzed both with and without onsite diesel generator events.  Without onsite AC it is called station blackout (SBO).  Lack of core, containment and spent fuel pool cooling the plant will enter into a severe accident.  The link is our study of the plant condition till late stage with failed core and dose release.

To conduct dynamic tests for a full spectrum of initial and boundary conditions using any traditional accident analysis method is a time-consuming and labor-intensive task.  A single run could take weeks to reach meaningful results.  It happens that we did a very similar work for the Ginna plant of Constellation Energy during its extended power upgrade (from 1560 MW to 1775 MW thermal) in 2005.  The success criterion was the core degradation frequency (CDF) would not be significantly increased as a result of the upgrade.  By using PCTRAN/PWR for the Westinghouse 2-loop plant, we have done numerous loss-of-power, loss-of-coolant inventory, delayed operator action, etc. cases and submitted the report.  It was independently reviewed and endorsed by the vendor and approved by USNRC.  The plant also won a 20-year life extension in 2006. 

Based on this success, Constellation Energy ordered plant specific model for its other C-E designed plant Calvert Cliffs in 2009. An extensive set of PRA Success Criteria Determination was conducted that is essentially equivalent to the post-Fukushima Stress Test. The report was completed in 2010.

3 Colleges in Texas

Wharton County Junior, Brazosport, and Victoria College - have received multiple federal and state grants to establish training programs for licensed and non-licensed workers of nuclear power plants. These three colleges used a portion of their grant money to acquire PCTRAN as the backbone of their simulation laboratory. A number of Texas institutions and utilitities have formed the Nuclear Power Institute whose goal is to establish INPO-accredited training programs. South Texas Project operates two PWR units and is also building two units of ABWR by Toshiba.

Selection of Plant Type for New Construction

In consideration of new plant construction, we all know that:

- ABWR has the longest operating record among the G3 types.

- AP1000 and ESBWR have all passive emergency core and containment cooling systems.

- EPR has the most elaborated four independent trains of ECCS, double containment and debris collecting system.

- VVER has large thermal margin in its horizontal SG design.

- Japanese APWR and Korean APR have advanced fluidic device in saving ECCS water consumption and some G3 concept application.

- Revised CPR-1000 (3-loop PWR) has proven safety record, fit to regional power grid and shortened contruction time.

If it is hard to select one from the above, why don't you have them all? You can use all of our PTRAN simulator products to compare the respective dynamc performance and safety margin during normal and accidental conditions. Train your technical staff, show to the manegerial and political leaders to make a point, etc. Two national agencies of Mexico and Pakistan have done exactly that. Huge discount applies for a package deal.

The Mexican Institute of National Nuclear Investigation has selected PCTRAN for its LaGuna Verde (GE BWR5) severe accident analysis. The package delivered also contains G3 models of AP1000, EPR, ESBWR, ABWR, and TRIGA models.

The Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority has selected PCTRAN for its Chasma (PWR 2-loop 300 MW) severe accident analysis. The package also contains G3 models of PWR 3-loop, EPR, AP1000, and off-site dispersion projection.

MST has delivered a new reactor PCTRAN model to the national lab's Advanced Reactor Systems and Safety Group. ARSS provides a wide range of support for analyzing, modeling, and controlling reactor power systems. The lab is commissioned by the US NRC to review all vendors' new reactor design submissions. With their expertise and resources, PCTRAN will evolve into a major analytical and simulation tool in the development of advanced reactor systems.


Contact us

View Web pages in Chinese







ESBWR GE/Hitachi Economic Simplified BWR
PCTRAN Personal Computer Transient Analyzer (PWR and BWR, Detailed Verification in Download Packages)
ABWR Advanced Boiling Water Reactor
TRIGA Experimental Pool Reactor Simulator
SFP Spent Fuel Pool Accident Simulator
AP1000 Westinghouse AP1000 New Cold Startup & Shutdown
Areva EPR New severe accident capability to show core-melt and containment failure and Cold Startup & Shutdown
Korean KSNP Korean OPR (KSNP1000) and APR 1400 with severe accidents (New)
VVER Russian-designed PWR with horizontal SG's with severe accidents
CPR-1000 Three-loop PWR

High Temperature Gas Reactor

APWR Mitsubishi APWR (New)
NHR Nuclear Desalination Reactor
Fukushima BWR4 or 5 for Fukushima event (New)

New Korean APR1400 & OPR1000

MST has successfully developed PCTRAN for KSNP1000 and APR1400. By arrangement with our distributor in Korea - FNC Technology, the APR1400 severe accident and RadPuff model is licensed to Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety as a research project. The OPR model is licensed to Jeju University and YeoungNam University for education. Free Download

The first APR1400 will be operational in Shin-Kori 3 and 4 soon in Korea. An APR1400 is also slated for construction in the UAE.

Note following the lessons learnt from the Fukushima event, passive hydrogen recombiners and ignitors have been incorporated and in-vessel retentrion strategy is investigated.

Purdue University

The Polytechnic University of Madrid

The City College of New York

US Naval Academy

Fleet of Software for Radiological Emergency

The Fort Calhoun Station of Omaha Public Power District and Comanche Peak Plant of Luminant Power have upgraded their PCTRAN applications with spent fuel pool and area dose projection features. The severe accident scenarios now cover hydrogen burn, directing LOCA sump water into reactor cavity to cool vessel failure debris, outside containment LOCA ("V" event), etc.

New Mitsubishi APWR

Recent Paper Publications

Free Downloads -- BWRs, PWRs, Severe Accident, Dose Assessment

New Video Demonstration of PWR Steam Generator Tube Rupture (18 minutes)

Startup and Shutdown

Capability of startng up a reactor from cold to criticality, rolling the turbine and synchronising with the generator grid is added into PCTRAN series of simulators.

New Plant Training in Nuclear Engineering International November 2008 issue

New features:

Nuclear Desalination Plant

Micro-simulation Technology developed a simulator for a 200MW low temperature heating reactor NHR designed by Tsinghua University of China for desalination.  The nuclear plant is coupled with a MED-TVC (multiple effect distillation – thermal vapor compression) unit to generate distilled water.  Point kinetics is used to solve core power evolution from cold to critical and power conditions. The steam generated by the nuclear plant is directed to four parallel units of MED-TVC.  Using fourteen vacuum chambers (effects) to evaporate the steam with a compressor, this MED-TVC process reaches a gain output ratio (GOR or distilled water production / nuclear steam rate) of over 15.  The fresh water production is 120,000 tons per day. We have also completed a simulator for another type of desalination device - VTE or vertical tube evaporation - that reaches a higher production of 160,000 tons of pure water per day.

The simulator facilitates training and design for plants such as these that are optimized for regions with low fresh water supplies.  It also serves as a useful tool in studies of economic feasibility and cost. Free Downloads


Can a NPP become a WMD?

Can a nuclear power plant become a weapon of mass destruction by accident or sabotage?  Well, the highly radioactive core and spent fuel inventory is hazardous if released to the environment on a large scale.  The possibility cannot be ruled out so that the US Army Combating WMD Agency (USACWMD) has acquired two of our basic simulator modules - one PWR and one BWR to train its staff.  A training course will cover all possible accidents and their impact to public safety. 

Exactly for the same idea the Hong Kong government and the Defense Laboratories DSO of Singapore are prepared for possible radiological events originated either inside or beyond their territories. Training sessions were conducted in late July of 2012. We have also licensed to State Radiation Protection Agencies of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. So look out DHS and states' colleagues, you'll find the right stuff right here.


Copyright 2012 All Rights reserved.

All contents in this website, including text, picture images and free download software are property of Micro-Simulation Technology. It is solely for individual's use for information only. Without a written permission by MST, no part is allowed to be re-distributed or used for profitable or non-profitable gains by any individual or organizations.



New online data acquisition and consequence projection system assures no mega-disasters ever again


With the aftermath of the 1979 Three Mile Island event, every plant in the world followed the US’s lead of installing a so-called Safety Parameter Display System (SPDS), which transmits key plant operations data to offsite support centers for emergency support and response.  So in principle a large pool of superior technical resources is available around the clock to mitigate an event’s severity.  Yet this did not prevent the tsunami-caused damage to the Fukushima units from evolving into a major disaster.  The reason is that despite awareness of the plant’s condition, the support staff did not have a robust means for projecting its consequences nor come up with plausible solutions.  

Over the sixty years development of the world nuclear power industry, there have been no shortage of sophisticated computer analysis tools and replica training simulators capable of transient simulation.  However, during the first weeks or so of the Fukushima accident, none were capable of predicting or reproducing the four Daiichi units’ outcome that could lead to meaningful mitigation measures. With the exception of Micro-Simulation Technology’s PCTRAN BWR3 and 4 models, within days we were able to provide explanations for the events that transpired and post the results online.  Our analysis turned out to be the only thing credible. It is highly consistent with what was announced by the IAEA and Japanese authorities (see later details below). 

Owing to the PCTRAN model’s relative simplicity yet high degree of fidelity in modeling each and every specific NPP, the technology is mature enough to construct an “Online NPP Incident Projection System”. 

By using a selected subset of real-time plant data, anything exceeding a pre-determined 2nd level such as “Alert” in the US four Emergency Activation Level (EAL) system will be automatically downloaded onto a dedicated PC and warning is sent to mobilize the supporting analyst team.  The team will perform faster-than-real-time projection of the event using various mitigating routes.  The best solution will be recommended to the control room crew.  Should there be core-melt or dose release, the source term and dose distribution will be immediately reported to higher authorities.

Using existing Internet-based SPDS, MST is working with a few NPPs to build the first online pilot systems.  Since each key component is already handy, within months it will be ready for testing. 



© 2007 Micro-Simulation Technology