The new center extends IBM’s ongoing work with leading nuclear power companies to support improved design, construction, safety, and operation of power plants based on IBM software, hardware, consulting, and services industry offerings.

These include IT systems design and architecture consulting, high-performance computing, advanced simulation/modeling capabilities, enterprise asset management and plant lifecycle management solutions, aimed at both the extension of existing nuclear power plant life and streamlining new plant construction.

IBM has extensive experience in consulting and design of IT systems for the nuclear industry in France, where 80% of energy is generated by nuclear power. By establishing the nuclear power center, the company hopes to extend its services to companies worldwide.

France possesses world-class expertise in the area of nuclear power, said Frederic Bauchot, lead architect of the IBM center of excellence for nuclear power. Establishment of the center enables IBM to utilize not only local IBM talent and experience in nuclear systems design and implementation, but also advanced skills of a leading nuclear power market.

Mr Bauchot added that IBM sees this as the ideal time to establish the center: This is very timely; as policy makers in Europe, Asia and the US are examining ways to constrain carbon emissions while at the same time diversify their respective energy portfolios.

The center will host a portfolio of IBM and independent software vendors’ applications that are targeted to the nuclear power industry, as well as support the IBM maximo asset management solution. Maximo is one of the core applications used by nuclear power operators to help manage critical operational and IT assets throughout their life cycle.

Today, there are more than 30 countries worldwide operating nuclear reactors for electricity generation. In these countries, nuclear power plant license extensions and new plant construction are driving the need for sophisticated risk modeling and information tools that ensure safe and reliable operations, said Guido Bartels, general manager of IBM global energy and utilities industry.