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Task Complexity: What Challenges the Crew and How Do They Cope

  • Per Øivind Braarud
  • Barry Kirwan
Conference paper

Abstract

What makes tasks complex for the control room crew, how can complex tasks be described, and how does the crew cope with complex scenarios? These questions are of basic interest to nuclear process control. The work reported here has identified factors of Task Complexity based on studies of how crews work in complex, realistic scenarios. The interaction between task complexity and the crews’ work processes is key for understanding how scenarios can become complex for the crew. Ambiguous, distant, missing or misleading information resulting in the crew having problems recognising and integrating the indications of faults, are critical determinants of Task Complexity. Increasing Complexity can also influence the variability between crews’ performance, as a function of the supervisor’s work style, work processes for maintaining an overview of the event during its evolution, and work processes for consultations within the crew. These results can be used to inform training, alarm design, and safety analysis for complex incident and accident scenarios in nuclear power plants.

Keywords

Task Complexity Main Task Additional Task Complex Scenario Relief Valve 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited  2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OECD Halden Reactor ProjectInstitutt for EnergiteknikkHaldenNorway
  2. 2.EurocontrolBretigny-sur-OrgeFrance

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