skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: The Next Step in Deployment of Computer Based Procedures For Field Workers: Insights And Results From Field Evaluations at Nuclear Power Plants

The paper-based procedures currently used for nearly all activities in the commercial nuclear power industry have a long history of ensuring safe operation of the plants. However, there is potential to greatly increase efficiency and safety by improving how the human operator interacts with the procedures. One way to achieve these improvements is through the use of computer-based procedures (CBPs). A CBP system offers a vast variety of improvements, such as context driven job aids, integrated human performance tools (e.g., placekeeping, correct component verification, etc.), and dynamic step presentation. The latter means that the CBP system could only display relevant steps based on operating mode, plant status, and the task at hand. A dynamic presentation of the procedure (also known as context-sensitive procedures) will guide the operator down the path of relevant steps based on the current conditions. This feature will reduce the operator’s workload and inherently reduce the risk of incorrectly marking a step as not applicable and the risk of incorrectly performing a step that should be marked as not applicable. The research team at the Idaho National Laboratory has developed a prototype CBP system for field workers, which has been evaluated from a human factors and usabilitymore » perspective in four laboratory studies. Based on the results from each study revisions were made to the CBP system. However, a crucial step to get the end users' (e.g., auxiliary operators, maintenance technicians, etc.) acceptance is to put the system in their hands and let them use it as a part of their everyday work activities. In the spring 2014 the first field evaluation of the INL CBP system was conducted at a nuclear power plant. Auxiliary operators conduct a functional test of one out of three backup air compressors each week. During the field evaluation activity, one auxiliary operator conducted the test with the paper-based procedure while a second auxiliary operator followed along with the computer-based procedure. After each conducted functional test the operators were asked a series of questions designed to provide feedback on the feasibility to use a CBP system in the plant and the general user experience of the CBP system. This paper will describe the field evaluation and its results in detail. For example, the result shows that the context driven job aids and the incorporated human performance tools are much liked by the auxiliary operators. The paper will describe and present initial findings from a second field evaluation conducted at second nuclear utility. For this field evaluation a preventive maintenance work order for the HVAC system was used. In addition, there will be a description of the method and objective of two field evaluations planned to be conducted late 2014 or early 2015.« less
Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1179377
Report Number(s):
INL/CON--14-32990
TRN: US1500164
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ANS NPIC&HMIT, Charlotte, NC (United States), 23-26 Feb 2015
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; REACTOR OPERATORS; ELECTRIC UTILITIES; HVAC SYSTEMS; COMPUTERS; AIR; HAZARDS; MAINTENANCE; PERFORMANCE; HUMAN FACTORS ENGINEERING; GAS COMPRESSORS; DESIGN; TESTING; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; FEASIBILITY STUDIES; EFFICIENCY; OPERATION; VERIFICATION; ON-LINE SYSTEMS Computer-based procedures