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Energy & Industry

Introducing smart technologies for new build and legacy systems.


The Energy & Industry sector is characterised by an increasing demand for cheap, safe and environmentally sustainable energy, leading to:

  • Investment in renewable energy such as solar and wind
  • Investment in new extraction of fossils fuels (e.g. hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling)
  • Nuclear new build in some countries, with legacy maintenance and decommissioning in others
  • Emergence of new technology for energy efficiency and energy management

Meeting these challenges will include:

  • Emergence of smart technology: the smart grid for power distribution (including smart metering) and smart sensors, for example in the digital oilfield
  • Replacing or upgrading ageing Instrumentation & Control (I&C) technology with modern Digital I&C
  • Developing strategies for maintaining and extending the life of legacy I&C systems
  • Ensuring the safety and security of new build and legacy plants, and decommissioning activities

The intelligent systems’ challenge for Energy & Industry clients can be summarised as the need to ensure the safe, secure & cost-effective introduction of digital technology such as smart sensors, and upgrade to Digital I&C for new build and existing plants.


As the dependency on programmable systems and smart instruments grows, Intelligent Systems / Altran offers services to the Energy & Industry market for the safe integration of the latest software and electronics technologies.

Offers include dedicated Instrumentation & Control services, Board-to-Board safety, and packaged offers in software engineering and electronics. Intelligent Systems / Altran works with clients in Nuclear, Energy Utilities, Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy and Waste & Water Management.

  • Digital I&C Engineering. Intelligent Systems / Altran provides control systems engineering and consulting for nuclear and conventional power generation, with particular expertise in the upgrade of Digital I&C. This includes the development and implementation of independent V&V (verification and validation) programmes compliant with IEEE 1012, and safety case development and safety assessment for Digital I&C. Project examples include:
    • Software V&V for the safety-related Digital I&C for four new build nuclear plants in China
    • Technical and consultancy assistance (technology transfer) to a Chinese engineering team specifying and designing reactor protection Digital I&C for new nuclear plant
    • Participation in every Digital I&C upgrade at a North American nuclear facility since 1985
  • SafetyIntelligent Systems / Altran provides a Board-to-Board safety service for Energy & Industry. Specific packaged offers are:
    • End-to-end Safety Engineering (including safety case development) and RAM. Techniques used include HAZOP, FMEA, FTA, QRA and LOPA. Safety standards used include IEC 61508 (safety of PES), IEC 61511 (safety of PES for the process industry) and IEC 61513 (safety of I&C for nuclear). Intelligent Systems / Altran has carried out safety projects worldwide in oil refining, petrochemical, nuclear, renewable energy and waste treatment, for example:
      • Safety analysis for wind farm, hydro-electric and electrical substation power plants for a Spanish energy company
      • HAZOP and SIL studies and QRA for 16 oil refinery units in South America
      • Safety assurance of a complex safety-critical materials movement management system used for enriched uranium
    • Independent Safety Assessment and ConsultingIntelligent Systems / Altran provides Energy & Industry clients with safety audit and assessment, including INSA (Independent Nuclear Safety Assessment).
      Projects include:
      • Enterprise level assessment and improvement of a Safety Management System for a nuclear operator
      • Assessment of a nuclear power facility against IEC 61508 
      • Preparation of Engineering Change reports used to gain approval for safety modifications to existing plant
  • Software Engineering. Intelligent Systems / Altran provides consulting on advanced software engineering methods and using aSSureD delivers software that achieves high safety integrity levels, exploiting extensive safety-critical system development experience from other industries.
    Example projects include:
    • Design of a software architecture for a next generation smart meter, addressing expected requirements for scalability, reliability and robustness for a 20 year lifespan
    • Software re-engineering of an obsolete system isolating a nuclear plant from the corporate LAN
    • Advising the UK CINIF (C&I Nuclear Industry Forum) on effective techniques for high-integrity software development and assessment.
  • Electronics. Intelligent Systems / Altran provides a wide range of electronics offers relevant to the development of intelligent devices for the Energy & Industry market, including Safety-critical FPGA design and Analogue Design & Power Management
    Example electronics projects include:
    • An investigation for a government agency of the hardware and software techniques required for an ultra high-integrity micro-processor unit related to nuclear applications
    • Development and integration of a firmware platform for the development of a new smart meter product line
    • Upgrade of a water meter sensor for use in an ATEX (explosive atmosphere) environment, including redesign of the hardware and embedded software
  • Cyber Security for Nuclear Power Generation. Intelligent Systems / Altran develops and implements cyber security programs as required by the US NRC regulation 10CFR73.54.
    Intelligent Systems / Altran is currently providing this service at the PG&E Diablo Canyon Power Plant in North America. 



Case references

Independent review of Control and Instrumentation (C&I) aspects of two new nuclear reactor designs



Intelligent Systems / Altran was contracted by the UK Government’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR (HSE)) to provide support for the review of the C&I aspects of two new nuclear reactor designs, as part of the UK’s Generic Design Assessment process. Intelligent Systems / Altran reviewed design information against ONR (HSE) guidelines (Safety Assessment Principles) and against applicable nuclear safety standards including IEC 61513, 60880, 62138, 60987 and 61226.


Intelligent Systems / Altran’s work contributed to ONR (HSE)’s decision to award a Design Acceptance Confirmation for one of the designs, the UK EPR™ from EDF Energy and AREVA, allowing progress to nuclear site licensing.