Integrated Engineering Approach to Safety, Reliability, Risk Management and Human Factors

  • Vanderley de VasconcelosEmail author
  • Wellington Antonio Soares
  • Raíssa Oliveira Marques
Part of the Springer Series in Reliability Engineering book series (RELIABILITY)


Nuclear industry has important engineering legacies to share with the conventional industry. As a result of nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, many countries have incorporated new steps into the licensing processes of Nuclear Power Plants (NPP), in order to manage accident risks. Probabilistic Safety Analysis has been used for improving safety, reliability and availability in the design and operation of NPP. Despite the close association between these subjects, there are some important different approaches. The reliability engineering approach uses several principles and criteria to minimize the component failures. These include, for instance, redundancy, diversity, and standby systems. System safety is primarily concerned with risk management, that is, the evaluation and control of hazards, which requires the assessment of interactions among system components. Events that cause accidents can be complex combinations of component or instrumentation failures, faulty maintenance, design errors, or human actions. Then, system safety deals with a broader spectrum of risk management, including human factors (ergonomics), licensing requirements, and quality control. Taking care of these topics individually can compromise the completeness of the analysis and the measures associated to risk reduction, and increasing safety and reliability. This chapter presents an integrated framework for analyzing engineering systems, operational procedures, and the human factors based on the application of systems theory. An application example assessing safety, reliability, risk, and human factors issues related to a complex task of Non-destructive Inspection of piping segments of a primary circuit of a NPP shows the benefits of using the proposed integrated approach.


Safety Reliability Human errors Risk management Probabilistic Risk Assessment 



The authors would like to thank the following Brazilian institutions that supported the writing of this chapter: Nuclear Technology Development Center (CDTN), Brazilian Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN), Financier of Studies and Projects (FINEP), Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), and Minas Gerais State Foundation for Research Development (FAPEMIG).


  1. ANS. American Nuclear Society (2016) Glossary of definitions and terminology. American Nuclear Society, La Grange Park, IL, 186 pGoogle Scholar
  2. Boring RL (2012) Fifty years of THERP and human reliability analysis. Proceedings of the 11th probabilistic safety assessment and management conference. International—PSAM11, Idaho Falls, ID, JuneGoogle Scholar
  3. Calixto E (2013) Gas and oil reliability engineering. Modeling and analysis. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 545 pGoogle Scholar
  4. Christensen FM, Andersen O, Duijm NJ, Harremoës P (2003) Risk terminology—a platform for common understanding and better communication. J Hazard Mater 103:181–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cox S, Tait R (1998) Safety, reliability and risk management: an integrated approach, 2nd edn. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 325 pGoogle Scholar
  6. EUROCONTROL. European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (2004) The human factors case: guidance for human factors integration—HRS/HIS-003-GUI-01. Brétigny, 114 pGoogle Scholar
  7. Holmberg JE, Nirmark J (2008) Risk-informed assessment of Defence-in-depth, LOCA example phase 1: mapping of conditions and definition of quantitative measures for the Defence-in-depth levels. Rev 0. VTT Technical Research Centre, Espoo, Finland, 42 p (SKI Report 2008:33)Google Scholar
  8. HSE. Health and Safety Executive (2017) Principles and guidelines to assist HSE in its Judgements that duty-holders have reduced risk as low as reasonably practicable. Retrieved 7 Apr 2017, from
  9. IAEA. International Atomic Energy Agency (2001) Risk management: a tool for improving nuclear power plant performance. Vienna, 88 p (IAEA-TECDOC-1209)Google Scholar
  10. IAEA. International Atomic Energy Agency (2009) Deterministic safety analysis of nuclear power plants. Specific Safety Guide No SSG-2. Vienna, 84 pGoogle Scholar
  11. IAEA. International Atomic Energy Agency (2012). IAEA report on protection against extreme earthquakes and tsunamis in the light of accident of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. International Expert Meeting. ViennaGoogle Scholar
  12. IAEA. International Atomic Energy Agency (2016a) Safety glossary terminology used in nuclear safety and radiation protection. Vienna, 219 pGoogle Scholar
  13. IAEA. International Atomic Energy Agency (2016b) Leadership and management for safety. General Safety Requirements No. GSR Part 2. Vienna (STI/PUB/175)Google Scholar
  14. Lees FP (2012) Loss prevention in the process industries: hazard identification, assessment and control, 4th.edn, 3 vol. Butterworth-Heinemann, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  15. Mobley RK, Higgins LR, Wikoff DJ (2008) Maintenance engineering handbook, 7th edn. McGraw Hill, New York, NY, 1244 pGoogle Scholar
  16. NAS & USNRC. National Academy of Sciences and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2014) Lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear accident for improving safety of U.S nuclear plants. National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 394 pGoogle Scholar
  17. Parris DH (1988) Human performance in non-destructive inspections and functional tests. EPRI NP-6052. Final Report. Palo Alto, CA, OctoberGoogle Scholar
  18. ReliaSoft (2015) System analysis reference: reliability, availability and optimization. ReliaSoft Publishing, Tucson, AZGoogle Scholar
  19. Soares WA, Vasconcelos V, Rabello EG (2015) Risk-based inspection in the context of nuclear power plants. Proceedings of the International Nuclear Atlantic Conference—INAC 2011, São Paulo, October 4–9Google Scholar
  20. Stamatelatos M (2002) Probabilistic risk assessment procedures guide for NASA managers and practitioners—version 1.1. Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, NASA Headquarters, Washington DC, 323 pGoogle Scholar
  21. Stanton N, Hedge A, Brookhuis K, Salas E, Hendrick H (2005) Handbook of human factors and ergonomics methods. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 685 pGoogle Scholar
  22. Su X, Mahadevan S, Xu P, Deng Y (2015) Dependence assessment in human reliability analysis using evidence theory and AHP. Risk Anal 35(7). doi: 10.1111/risa.12347
  23. Swain AD, Guttmann HE (1983) Handbook of human reliability analysis with emphasis on nuclear power plant applications, NUREG/CR-1278. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory CommissionGoogle Scholar
  24. USNRC. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1975) WASH-1400—Reactor Safety Study, NUREG-75/014, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  25. USNRC. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2001) Integrated safety analysis—guidance document. NUREG-1513. Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, Washington, DC, 65 pGoogle Scholar
  26. USNRC. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2005) Good Practices for implementing Human Reliability Analysis (HRA). NUREG-1792. Washington, DC, 103 pGoogle Scholar
  27. USNRC. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2011) An approach for using probabilistic risk assessment in risk-informed decisions on plant specific changes to the licensing basis. Regulatory Guide 1.174—Revision 2. Washington, DC, 37 pGoogle Scholar
  28. USNRC. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2013) Glossary of risk-related terms in support of risk-informed decision-making. NUREG 2122. Washington, DC, 187 pGoogle Scholar
  29. USNRC. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2017) Full-text glossary. Retrieved 31 Mar 2017 from
  30. Vasconcelos V, Silva EMP, Reis SC, Costa ACL (2009). Safety, reliability, risk management and human factors: an integrated engineering approach applied to nuclear facilities. Proceedings of the International Nuclear Atlantic Conference—INAC 2009, Rio de Janeiro, , September 27–October 5Google Scholar
  31. Vasconcelos V, Soares WA, Costa ACL, Rabello EG, Marques RO (2016) Evaluation of piping reliability and failure data for use in risk-based inspections of nuclear power plants. Proceedings of “Congresso Brasileiro de Engenharia e Ciência dos Materiais”, 12th CBECIMAT, Natal, November 6–10Google Scholar
  32. WHO. World Health Organization (2004) IPCS risk assessment terminology. International Programme on Chemical Safety (ICPS). World Health Organization, Geneva, 122 pGoogle Scholar
  33. Zhou X, Deng X, Deng Y, Mahadevan S (2017) Dependence assessment in human reliability analysis based on D numbers and AHP. Nucl Eng Des 313:243–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanderley de Vasconcelos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wellington Antonio Soares
    • 1
  • Raíssa Oliveira Marques
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear—CDTNBelo HorizonteBrasil

Personalised recommendations