A Technique for Human ErrorAnalysis (ATHEANA) (NUREG/CR-6350)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: April 1996
Date Published: May 1996

Prepared by:
S.E. Cooper, SAIC
A.M. Ramey-Smith, NRC
J. Wreathall, WWG
G.W. Parry, NUS
D.C. Bley, WWG
W.J. Luckas, J.H. Taylor, M.T. Barriere, BNL

Brookhaven National Laboratory
Upton, NY 11973

Science Applications International Corporation
Reston, VA 22090

Halliburton NUS Corporation
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

The WreathWood Group
Dublin, OH 43016

A.M. Ramey-Smith, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Division of Systems Technology
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001
NRC Job Code L2415

Availability Notice


Probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) has become an important tool in the nuclear power industry, both for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the operating utilities. Human reliability analysis (HRA) is a critical element of PRA; however, limitations in the analysis of human actions in PRAs have tong been recognized as a constraint when using PRA.

A multidisciplinary HRA framework has been developed with the objective of providing a structured approach for analyzing operating experience and understanding nuclear plant safety, human error, and the underlying factors that affect them. The concepts of the framework have matured into a rudimentary working HRA method. A trial application of the method has demonstrated that it is possible to identify potentially significant human failure events from actual operating experience which are not generally included in current PRAs, as well as to identify associated performance shaping factors and plant conditions that have an observable impact on the frequency of core damage.

A general process was developed, albeit in preliminary form, that addresses the iterative steps of defining human failure events and estimating their probabilities using search schemes. Additionally, a knowledge-base was developed which describes the links between performance shaping factors and resulting unsafe actions.

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