Human Factors Considerations with Respect to Emerging Technology in Nuclear Power Plants (NUREG/CR-6947)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: September 2008
Date Published:
October 2008

Prepared by:
1J.M. O’Hara, J.C. Higgins, W.S. Brown
2R. Fink
3J. Persensky, P.Lewis, J. Kramer, A. Szabo

1Brookhaven National Laboratory
Energy Sciences and Technology Department
Upton, NY 11973-5000

2CDF Services, Inc.
Fayetteville, AR 72701

3U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

M.A. Boggi, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

NRC Job Code Y6529

Availability Notice


This Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) sponsored study has identified human performance research that may be needed to support the review of a licensee’s implementation of new technology in nuclear power plants. To identify the research issues, current industry developments and trends were evaluated in the areas of reactor technology, instrumentation and control technology, human-system integration technology, and human factors engineering (HFE) methods and tools. The issues were organized into seven high-level HFE topic areas: Role of Personnel and Automation, Staffing and Training, Normal Operations Management, Disturbance and Emergency Management, Maintenance and Change Management, Plant Design and Construction, and HFE Methods and Tools. The research issues were then prioritized into four categories using a “Phenomena Identification and Ranking Table” methodology based on evaluations provided by 14 independent subject matter experts. The subject matter experts were knowledgeable in a variety of disciplines. Vendors, utilities, research organizations and regulators all participated. Twenty issues were categorized into the top priority category. This report contains a summary of the high-level topic areas and the issues in each. It also identifies the priority of each issue and the rationale for those in the top priority category. A companion Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) technical report provides additional details on the study methodology, issue analysis, and results. The information gathered in this project can serve as input to the development of a long-term strategy and plan for addressing human performance in these areas through regulatory research. Addressing human performance issues will provide the technical basis from which regulatory review guidance can be developed.

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