T8  Progress and Challenges in Implementing Digital I&C in the Nuclear Industry

The U.S. reactor fleet continues to pursue digital upgrades as a key strategy for addressing obsolescence issues, improving plant reliability, and reducing maintenance costs. Similarly, members of the research and test reactor community are implementing digital upgrades to maintain their research missions. In coordination with industry working groups, the NRC is implementing an integrated strategy to modernize the agency’s regulatory infrastructure for digital instrumentation and controls (I&C). Activities are focused on several challenges, such as using Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 50.59, “Changes, Tests and Experiments,” to make certain upgrades without NRC approval, streamlining the digital licensing process, and addressing common-cause failure.

This year’s session will provide an opportunity to discuss progress made in improving the regulatory framework, and emergent challenges.  The panelists will explore solutions in implementing nuclear plant digital safety systems and provide perspectives on questions such as: (1) what successes have been achieved in improving clarity in the regulatory framework? (2) what are the current and emergent digital implementation challenges? (3) what are industry’s plans for widespread implementation of digital I&C? and, (4) has digital technology matured to reduce uncertainty in potential hazards unique to digital I&C, such as latent design errors and common-cause failure?
  • Michael Waters, Branch Chief, Instrumentation and Controls Branch, Division of Engineering, NRR/NRC
  • Michael Waters, Branch Chief, Instrumentation and Controls Branch, Division of Engineering, NRR/NRC
  • Golub Pareez, Vice President, Excel Services Corporation
  • Neil Archambo, Principal Nuclear Engineer, Fleet Nuclear Design Engineer, Duke Energy
  • Clive Townsend, Nuclear Reactor Supervisor and Assistant Laboratory Director, Purdue University
  • Richard Stattel, Sr. Electronics Engineer, Division of Engineering, NRR/NRC
  • Sergiu Basturescu, Electronics Engineer, Division of Engineering and Infrastructure, NRO/NRC tel: 301-415-1237, e-mail: Sergiu.Basturescu@nrc.gov

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, April 10, 2020