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Title: Effects of an Advanced Reactor’s Design, Use of Automation, and Mission on Human Operators

The roles, functions, and tasks of the human operator in existing light water nuclear power plants (NPPs) are based on sound nuclear and human factors engineering (HFE) principles, are well defined by the plant’s conduct of operations, and have been validated by years of operating experience. However, advanced NPPs whose engineering designs differ from existing light-water reactors (LWRs) will impose changes on the roles, functions, and tasks of the human operators. The plans to increase the use of automation, reduce staffing levels, and add to the mission of these advanced NPPs will also affect the operator’s roles, functions, and tasks. We assert that these factors, which do not appear to have received a lot of attention by the design engineers of advanced NPPs relative to the attention given to conceptual design of these reactors, can have significant risk implications for the operators and overall plant safety if not mitigated appropriately. This paper presents a high-level analysis of a specific advanced NPP and how its engineered design, its plan to use greater levels of automation, and its expanded mission have risk significant implications on operator performance and overall plant safety.
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Conference: Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management conference (PSAM 12),Honolulu, HI, USA (Sheraton Waikiki),06/22/2014,06/27/2014
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS Advanced Nuclear Power Plants; Automation; Cognitive Work Analysis; Human Reliability Analysis; Humsn Factors Engineering; Work Domain Analysis