skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: A Computuerized Operator Support System Prototype

A report was published by the Idaho National Laboratory in September of 2012, entitled Design to Achieve Fault Tolerance and Resilience, which described the benefits of automating operator actions for transients. The report identified situations in which providing additional automation in lieu of operator actions would be advantageous. It recognized that managing certain plant upsets is sometimes limited by the operator’s ability to quickly diagnose the fault and to take the needed actions in the time available. Undoubtedly, technology is underutilized in the nuclear power industry for operator assistance during plant faults and operating transients. In contrast, other industry sectors have amply demonstrated that various forms of operator advisory systems can enhance operator performance while maintaining the role and responsibility of the operator as the independent and ultimate decision-maker. A computerized operator support system (COSS) is proposed for use in nuclear power plants to assist control room operators in addressing time-critical plant upsets. A COSS is a collection of technologies to assist operators in monitoring overall plant performance and making timely, informed decisions on appropriate control actions for the projected plant condition. The COSS does not supplant the role of the operator, but rather provides rapid assessments, computations, and recommendationsmore » to reduce workload and augment operator judgment and decision-making during fast-moving, complex events. This project proposes a general model for a control room COSS that addresses a sequence of general tasks required to manage any plant upset: detection, validation, diagnosis, recommendation, monitoring, and recovery. The model serves as a framework for assembling a set of technologies that can be interrelated to assist with each of these tasks. A prototype COSS has been developed in order to demonstrate the concept and provide a test bed for further research. The prototype is based on four underlying elements consisting of a digital alarm system, computer-based procedures, PI&D system representations, and a recommender module for mitigation actions. At this point, the prototype simulates an interface to a sensor validation module and a fault diagnosis module. These two modules will be fully integrated in the next version of the prototype. The initial version of the prototype is now operational at the Idaho National Laboratory using the U.S. Department of Energy’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Human Systems Simulation Laboratory (HSSL). The HSSL is a full-scope, full-scale glass top simulator capable of simulating existing and future nuclear power plant main control rooms. The COSS is interfaced to the Generic Pressurized Water Reactor (gPWR) simulator with industry-typical control board layouts. The glass top panels display realistic images of the control boards that can be operated by touch gestures. A section of the simulated control board was dedicated to the COSS human-system interface (HSI), which resulted in a seamless integration of the COSS into the normal control room environment.« less
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS nuclear power plants; plant protection system