Promises in Intelligent Plant Control Systems
The control system is the brain of a power plant. The traditional goal of control systems has been productivity. However, in nuclear power plants the potential for disaster requires safety to be the dominant concern, and the worldwide political climate demands trustworthiness for nuclear power plants. To keep nuclear generation as a viable option for power in the future, trust is the essential critical goal which encompasses all others.
In most of today’s nuclear plants the control system is a hybrid of analog, digital, and human components that focuses on productivity and operates under the protective umbrella of an independent engineered safety system. Operation of the plant is complex, and frequent challenges to the safety system occur which impact on their trustworthiness.
Advances in nuclear reactor design, computer sciences, and control theory, and in related technological areas such as electronics and communications as well as in data storage, retrieval, display, and analysis have opened a promise for control systems with more acceptable human brain-like capabilities to pursue the required goals.
This paper elaborates on the promise of futuristic nuclear power plants with intelligent control systems and addresses design requirements and implementation approaches.
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