Defining Mutual Awareness: Results of Reactor Operator Surveys on the Emergence of Digital Technology in Main Control Rooms

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 778)


The last decade has brought tremendous change to control room technologies. Lack of replacement parts and aging infrastructure within the analog systems created a shift, with digital technologies now making their way into nuclear power plant main control rooms in the U.S. These are complex, dynamic and collaborative working environments with potential for human error. The increase in automation coupled with the use of digital human-machine interfaces affords operators the opportunity to transition to seated workstations, yet creates a new set of potential operating issues. Adjusting to the new communication dynamic as well as a learning curve with the new technology creates potential for new types of human error. Finally, the technology shift from analog to digital introduces the risk of cybersecurity breaches. Through literature review and interview feedback from currently licensed operators and human factors experts working in industry, this research identifies several key current concerns.


Nuclear power plant Digital control room Mutual awareness 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature (outside the USA) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Idaho National LaboratoryIdaho FallsUSA

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