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Title: Supporting the future nuclear workforce with computer-based procedures

Here we see that computer-based tools have dramatically increased ease and efficiency of everyday tasks. Gone are the days of paging through a paper catalog, transcribing product numbers, and calculating totals. Today, a consumer can find a product online with a simple search engine, and then purchase it in a matter of a few clicks. Paper catalogs have their place, but it is hard to imagine life without on-line shopping sites. All tasks conducted in a nuclear power plant are guided by procedures, which helps ensure safe and reliable operation of the plants. One prominent goal of the nuclear industry is to minimize the risk of human errors. To achieve this goal one has to ensure tasks are correctly and consistently executed. This is partly achieved by training and by a structured approach to task execution, which is provided by procedures and work instructions. Procedures are used in the nuclear industry to direct workers' actions in a proper sequence. The governing idea is to minimize the reliance on memory and choices made in the field. However, the procedure document may not contain sufficient information to successfully complete the task. Therefore, the worker might have to carry additional documents such asmore » turnover sheets, operation experience, drawings, and other procedures to the work site. The nuclear industry is operated with paper procedures like paper catalogs of the past. A field worker may carry a large stack of documents needed to complete a task to the field. Even though the paper process has helped keep the industry safe for decades, there are limitations to using paper. Paper procedures are static (i.e., the content does not change after the document is printed), difficult to search, and rely heavily on the field worker’s situational awareness and ability to consistently meet the high expectation of human performance excellence. With computer-based procedures (CBPs) that stack of papers may be reduced to the size of a small tablet or even a smart phone. Instead of manually matching equipment identification numbers listed in the procedure with the number on the physical equipment the field worker can simply scan a barcode to ensure the correct valve is opened while simultaneously creating a record. Instead of navigating through a maze of cross-references, CBPs enable intelligent work path navigation which accounts for past decisions and observation, thereby enabling more efficient and safe task completion.« less
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  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: 1745-2058
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Future
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 1
The Nuclear Institute
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: