Most modern nuclear power plants are being designed using advanced design tools for both CAE and CAD. The SmartPlant® suite of programs, now called the SmartPlant Enterprise, is one of the most widely used and comprehensive of these programs. It is currently being used to design all nuclear Generation III+ designs by Westinghouse, GE-Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, and AECL. The SmartPlant® Enterprise is a complete integrated solution capable of capturing all engineering, design, and construction data in a product called SmartPlant Foundation®. Once construction begins on these plants, however, the challenge for the operating companies becomes how to take the data contained within SmartPlant Foundation and use it for commissioning and operation. In this paperless environment, there is increased reliance on the software to make this transition in a nuclear operating company. This paper describes the benefits of this new paradigm, and provides a roadmap for the steps necessary to accomplish this goal. It also provides recommendations for the resources and for the cost and schedule required to make the conversion from design tool to operations tool.

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