In the wake of the recent Japanese Nuclear Reactor crisis, I present you the Nuclear Power Plant Simulator – a hazard-free version of the real thing. In the Nuclear Power Plant Simulator you will learn how nuclear energy is harnessed to generate electricity and what it takes to control a nuclear plant.
The game places you inside the control room of a small commercial nuclear power plant. Your object is to produce as much electricity as you can without causing a core meltdown. In order to do so you will have to run the plant to its limits but care must be taken not to push too hard and cause damage. If you don’t push too hard it will not break down, but your energy output and rating will be lower. You have to find the balance between efficient energy production and safe handling of the equipment.
You have to adjust the control rods to produce heat in the reactor, the primary coolant to carry heat to the heat exchanger and the secondary coolant to take steam to the turbine and on to the cooling tower. There is also a supply of emergency coolant if you need it. Numerous gauges and screens and warning lights keeps you busy during the entire gameplay.
Nuclear Power Plant Simulator is challenging when you are playing the first time, particularly if you aren’t a nuclear plant operator in real life. I had numerous meltdowns, and one time, even a Fukushima like situation with coolant pumps failure and reactor temperature steadily rising.
But once you get an idea of it works you will find that it is not too hard to play. The trick is to get the reaction up fast without loosing too many days in the beginning and then immediately adjust the control rods before temperature overshoots. Then you just have to maintain a steady production of power by making minor adjustment to the flow of coolants and the control rods position.
Nuclear Power Plant Simulator is addictive, and as much fun as educative.