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Title: Achieving Verifiable and High Integrity Instrumentation and Control Systems through Complexity Awareness and Constrained Design

Abstract

While most process control industries have been able to embrace digital Instrumentation and Control (I&C) technology to improve performance, reliability, maintainability, and efficiency of production, the nuclear industry has been relatively slow to adopt digital I&C for safety critical plant functions. There are a variety of reasons for this, but in general the nuclear industry takes a conservative stance that new technologies must mature before adoption. A deeper underlying reason for not fully realizing digital I&C and automation in nuclear power is associated with the complexity that can manifest in software-based systems that is different in nature from the complexity of their analog predecessors. Accordingly, this research pursued the development of innovative architectures and methods to “constrain complexity” to enhance verifiability of digital I&C devices. These constraints can positively impact the reduction of Software Common Cause Failures (SCCF) and other systematic errors. The architectural concept developed in this research effort is called SymPLe. SymPLe is specifically aimed at safety critical functions within Nuclear Power Plants and other critical infrastructure where constraining device complexity to support verifiability and safety case arguments is important. The SymPLe architecture is designed to promote “accessible verification” between OEM/utility engineers and the regulatory agencies who reviewmore » and license nuclear power plant I&C systems. The major contributions of this work to the nuclear industry are: Demonstration of SymPLe as a viable approach to “complexity aware” I&C systems and Embedded Digital Devices. Comprehensive use of model-based design and engineering to produce verifiable I&C systems for the nuclear industry with clear findings on the usability of model-based engineering. Employ comprehensive use of model-based engineering, testing, and verification in an IEC 61508 workflow in support of design assurance. Gathered evidence of “difficult to find” design flaws found using model-based design and testing methods. Detailed the nature of these SCCFs including where they were introduced, the triggers, and how they were found. Gathered evidence on the synergistic use of practical formal methods and testing and how these methods can be used to significantly increase assurance of reduction and avoidance of design flaws.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1547345
Report Number(s):
15-8044
15-8044
DOE Contract Number:  
NE0008445
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
FPGA based Digital I&C, FPGA overlays, Model based engineering and design, Simulink, Testing, Verification, and Formal Methods

Citation Formats

Gibson, Matt. Achieving Verifiable and High Integrity Instrumentation and Control Systems through Complexity Awareness and Constrained Design. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2172/1547345.
Gibson, Matt. Achieving Verifiable and High Integrity Instrumentation and Control Systems through Complexity Awareness and Constrained Design. United States. doi:10.2172/1547345.
Gibson, Matt. Wed . "Achieving Verifiable and High Integrity Instrumentation and Control Systems through Complexity Awareness and Constrained Design". United States. doi:10.2172/1547345. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1547345.
@article{osti_1547345,
title = {Achieving Verifiable and High Integrity Instrumentation and Control Systems through Complexity Awareness and Constrained Design},
author = {Gibson, Matt},
abstractNote = {While most process control industries have been able to embrace digital Instrumentation and Control (I&C) technology to improve performance, reliability, maintainability, and efficiency of production, the nuclear industry has been relatively slow to adopt digital I&C for safety critical plant functions. There are a variety of reasons for this, but in general the nuclear industry takes a conservative stance that new technologies must mature before adoption. A deeper underlying reason for not fully realizing digital I&C and automation in nuclear power is associated with the complexity that can manifest in software-based systems that is different in nature from the complexity of their analog predecessors. Accordingly, this research pursued the development of innovative architectures and methods to “constrain complexity” to enhance verifiability of digital I&C devices. These constraints can positively impact the reduction of Software Common Cause Failures (SCCF) and other systematic errors. The architectural concept developed in this research effort is called SymPLe. SymPLe is specifically aimed at safety critical functions within Nuclear Power Plants and other critical infrastructure where constraining device complexity to support verifiability and safety case arguments is important. The SymPLe architecture is designed to promote “accessible verification” between OEM/utility engineers and the regulatory agencies who review and license nuclear power plant I&C systems. The major contributions of this work to the nuclear industry are: Demonstration of SymPLe as a viable approach to “complexity aware” I&C systems and Embedded Digital Devices. Comprehensive use of model-based design and engineering to produce verifiable I&C systems for the nuclear industry with clear findings on the usability of model-based engineering. Employ comprehensive use of model-based engineering, testing, and verification in an IEC 61508 workflow in support of design assurance. Gathered evidence of “difficult to find” design flaws found using model-based design and testing methods. Detailed the nature of these SCCFs including where they were introduced, the triggers, and how they were found. Gathered evidence on the synergistic use of practical formal methods and testing and how these methods can be used to significantly increase assurance of reduction and avoidance of design flaws.},
doi = {10.2172/1547345},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}