This talk will discuss the design and implementation of a Python-based tool-set to aid in assessing the response of the UK's Advanced Gas Reactor nuclear power stations to earthquakes. The seismic analyses themselves are carried out with a commercial Finite Element solver, but understanding the raw data this produces requires customised post-processing and visualisation tools. Extending the existing tools had become increasingly difficult and a decision was made to develop a new, Python-based tool-set. This comprises of a post-processing framework ("aftershock") which includes an an embedded Python interpreter, and a plotting package ("afterplot") based on numpy and matplotlib.
The new tool-set had to be significantly more flexible and easier to maintain than the existing code-base, while allowing the majority of development to be carried out by engineers with little training in software development. The resulting architecture will be described with a focus on exploring how the design drivers were met and the successes and challenges arising from the choices made.