Ergonomic Safety and Health Activities to Support Commercial Nuclear Power Plant Control Room Modernization in the United States
Affordable, abundant, and reliable electricity generation is essential to fueling a nation’s robust and globally competitive economy. In the United States (U.S.), commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs) account for approximately 19% of reliable and cost-competitive base load electricity generation. Other technologies that reduce reliance on fossil fuels and provide base load electricity cost-competitively at a national scale are still under development. Thus, without suitable replacements for nuclear power, the generating capacity of nuclear energy in the U.S. must be continued through the safe and efficient operation of commercial NPPs. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) research and development (R&D) program provides the technical bases for the long-term, safe, and economical operation of NPPs. One area in the LWRS program is the Plant Modernization pathway, which includes human factors R&D, human factors engineering (HFE), and ergonomics to enable the modernization of the instrumentation and control (I&C) technologies in NPP main control rooms. DOE researchers, including ergonomics specialists at Idaho National Laboratory (INL), have collaborated with numerous commercial NPP utilities over the last few years on control room modernization. This paper summarizes recent ergonomics safety and health R&D and HFE performed in collaboration with a U.S. commercial utility to modernize their NPP control rooms.
KeywordsErgonomic safety & health Nuclear power plants Control room modernization Digital instrumentation & control systems Light water reactor sustainability program Human factors engineering
INL is a multi-program laboratory operated by Battelle Energy Alliance LLC, for the United States Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC07-05ID14517. This work of authorship was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government, nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately-owned rights. The United States Government retains, and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States government or any agency thereof. The INL issued document number for this paper is: INL/CON-18-45643.
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