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Bridging Resilience Engineering and Human Reliability Analysis

Description: There has been strong interest in the new and emerging field called resilience engineering. This field has been quick to align itself with many existing safety disciplines, but it has also distanced itself from the field of human reliability analysis. To date, the discussion has been somewhat one-sided, with much discussion about the new insights afforded by resilience engineering. This paper presents an attempt to address resilience engineering from the perspective of human reliability analysis (HRA). It is argued that HRA shares much in common with resilience engineering and that, in fact, it can help strengthen nascent ideas in resilience engineering. This paper seeks to clarify and ultimately refute the arguments that have served to divide HRA and resilience engineering.
Date: June 1, 2010
Creator: Boring, Ronald L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

How Many Performance Shaping Factors are Necessary for Human Reliability Analysis?

Description: It has been argued that human reliability analysis (HRA) has expended considerable energy on creating detailed representations of human performance through an increasingly long list of performance shaping factors (PSFs). It is not clear, however, to what extent this refinement and expansion of PSFs has enhanced the quality of HRA. Indeed, there is considerable range in the number of PSFs provided by individual HRA methods, ranging from single factor models such as time-reliability curves, up to 50 or more PSFs in some current HRA models. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission advocates 15 PSFs in its HRA Good Practices (NUREG-1792), while its SPAR-H method (NUREG/CR-6883) espouses the use of eight PSFs and its ATHEANA method (NUREG-1624) features an open-ended number of PSFs. The apparent differences in the optimal number of PSFs can be explained in terms of the diverse functions of PSFs in HRA. The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of PSFs across different stages of HRA, including identification of potential human errors, modeling of these errors into an overall probabilistic risk assessment, quantifying errors, and preventing errors.
Date: June 1, 2010
Creator: Boring, Ronald L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

THE VALIDITY OF HUMAN AND COMPUTERIZED WRITING ASSESSMENT

Description: This paper summarizes an experiment designed to assess the validity of essay grading between holistic and analytic human graders and a computerized grader based on latent semantic analysis. The validity of the grade was gauged by the extent to which the student’s knowledge of the topic correlated with the grader’s expert knowledge. To assess knowledge, Pathfinder networks were generated by the student essay writers, the holistic and analytic graders, and the computerized grader. It was found that the computer generated grades more closely matched the definition of valid grading than did human generated grades.
Date: September 1, 2005
Creator: Boring, Ronald L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Current Human Reliability Analysis Methods Applied to Computerized Procedures

Description: Computerized procedures (CPs) are an emerging technology within nuclear power plant control rooms. While CPs have been implemented internationally in advanced control rooms, to date no US nuclear power plant has implemented CPs in its main control room (Fink et al., 2009). Yet, CPs are a reality of new plant builds and are an area of considerable interest to existing plants, which see advantages in terms of enhanced ease of use and easier records management by omitting the need for updating hardcopy procedures. The overall intent of this paper is to provide a characterization of human reliability analysis (HRA) issues for computerized procedures. It is beyond the scope of this document to propose a new HRA approach or to recommend specific methods or refinements to those methods. Rather, this paper serves as a review of current HRA as it may be used for the analysis and review of computerized procedures.
Date: June 1, 2012
Creator: Boring, Ronald L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fifty Years of THERP and Human Reliability Analysis

Description: In 1962 at a Human Factors Society symposium, Alan Swain presented a paper introducing a Technique for Human Error Rate Prediction (THERP). This was followed in 1963 by a Sandia Laboratories monograph outlining basic human error quantification using THERP and, in 1964, by a special journal edition of Human Factors on quantification of human performance. Throughout the 1960s, Swain and his colleagues focused on collecting human performance data for the Sandia Human Error Rate Bank (SHERB), primarily in connection with supporting the reliability of nuclear weapons assembly in the US. In 1969, Swain met with Jens Rasmussen of Risø National Laboratory and discussed the applicability of THERP to nuclear power applications. By 1975, in WASH-1400, Swain had articulated the use of THERP for nuclear power applications, and the approach was finalized in the watershed publication of the NUREG/CR-1278 in 1983. THERP is now 50 years old, and remains the most well known and most widely used HRA method. In this paper, the author discusses the history of THERP, based on published reports and personal communication and interviews with Swain. The author also outlines the significance of THERP. The foundations of human reliability analysis are found in THERP: human failure events, task analysis, performance shaping factors, human error probabilities, dependence, event trees, recovery, and pre- and post-initiating events were all introduced in THERP. While THERP is not without its detractors, and it is showing signs of its age in the face of newer technological applications, the longevity of THERP is a testament of its tremendous significance. THERP started the field of human reliability analysis. This paper concludes with a discussion of THERP in the context of newer methods, which can be seen as extensions of or departures from Swain’s pioneering work.
Date: June 1, 2012
Creator: Boring, Ronald L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

OVERVIEW OF A RECONFIGURABLE SIMULATOR FOR MAIN CONTROL ROOM UPGRADES IN NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

Description: This paper provides background on a reconfigurable control room simulator for nuclear power plants. The main control rooms in current nuclear power plants feature analog technology that is growing obsolete. The need to upgrade control rooms serves the practical need of maintainability as well as the opportunity to implement newer digital technologies with added functionality. There currently exists no dedicated research simulator for use in human factors design and evaluation activities for nuclear power plant modernization in the U.S. The new research simulator discussed in this paper provides a test bed in which operator performance on new control room concepts can be benchmarked against existing control rooms and in which new technologies can be validated for safety and usability prior to deployment.
Date: October 1, 2012
Creator: Boring, Ronald L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

HUMAN RELIABILITY ANALYSIS FOR COMPUTERIZED PROCEDURES, PART TWO: APPLICABILITY OF CURRENT METHODS

Description: Computerized procedures (CPs) are an emerging technology within nuclear power plant control rooms. While CPs have been implemented internationally in advanced control rooms, to date no U.S. nuclear power plant has implemented CPs in its main control room. Yet, CPs are a reality of new plant builds and are an area of considerable interest to existing plants, which see advantages in terms of easier records management by omitting the need for updating hardcopy procedures. The overall intent of this paper is to provide a characterization of human reliability analysis (HRA) issues for computerized procedures. It is beyond the scope of this document to propose a new HRA approach or to recommend specific methods or refinements to those methods. Rather, this paper serves as a review of current HRA as it may be used for the analysis and review of computerized procedures.
Date: October 1, 2012
Creator: Boring, Ronald L. & Gertman, David I.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Human Reliability Analysis for Small Modular Reactors

Description: Because no human reliability analysis (HRA) method was specifically developed for small modular reactors (SMRs), the application of any current HRA method to SMRs represents tradeoffs. A first- generation HRA method like THERP provides clearly defined activity types, but these activity types do not map to the human-system interface or concept of operations confronting SMR operators. A second- generation HRA method like ATHEANA is flexible enough to be used for SMR applications, but there is currently insufficient guidance for the analyst, requiring considerably more first-of-a-kind analyses and extensive SMR expertise in order to complete a quality HRA. Although no current HRA method is optimized to SMRs, it is possible to use existing HRA methods to identify errors, incorporate them as human failure events in the probabilistic risk assessment (PRA), and quantify them. In this paper, we provided preliminary guidance to assist the human reliability analyst and reviewer in understanding how to apply current HRA methods to the domain of SMRs. While it is possible to perform a satisfactory HRA using existing HRA methods, ultimately it is desirable to formally incorporate SMR considerations into the methods. This may require the development of new HRA methods. More practicably, existing methods need to be adapted to incorporate SMRs. Such adaptations may take the form of guidance on the complex mapping between conventional light water reactors and small modular reactors. While many behaviors and activities are shared between current plants and SMRs, the methods must adapt if they are to perform a valid and accurate analysis of plant personnel performance in SMRs.
Date: June 1, 2012
Creator: Boring, Ronald L. & Gertman, David I.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advancing Usability Evaluation through Human Reliability Analysis

Description: This paper introduces a novel augmentation to the current heuristic usability evaluation methodology. The SPAR-H human reliability analysis method was developed for categorizing human performance in nuclear power plants. Despite the specialized use of SPAR-H for safety critical scenarios, the method also holds promise for use in commercial off-the-shelf software usability evaluations. The SPAR-H method shares task analysis underpinnings with human-computer interaction, and it can be easily adapted to incorporate usability heuristics as performance shaping factors. By assigning probabilistic modifiers to heuristics, it is possible to arrive at the usability error probability (UEP). This UEP is not a literal probability of error but nonetheless provides a quantitative basis to heuristic evaluation. When combined with a consequence matrix for usability errors, this method affords ready prioritization of usability issues.
Date: July 1, 2005
Creator: Boring, Ronald L. & Gertman, David I.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

HUMAN ERROR QUANTIFICATION USING PERFORMANCE SHAPING FACTORS IN THE SPAR-H METHOD

Description: This paper describes a cognitively based human reliability analysis (HRA) quantification technique for estimating the human error probabilities (HEPs) associated with operator and crew actions at nuclear power plants. The method described here, Standardized Plant Analysis Risk-Human Reliability Analysis (SPAR-H) method, was developed to aid in characterizing and quantifying human performance at nuclear power plants. The intent was to develop a defensible method that would consider all factors that may influence performance. In the SPAR-H approach, calculation of HEP rates is especially straightforward, starting with pre-defined nominal error rates for cognitive vs. action-oriented tasks, and incorporating performance shaping factor multipliers upon those nominal error rates.
Date: September 1, 2008
Creator: Blackman, Harold S.; Gertman, David I. & Boring, Ronald L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

COMMERCIAL UTILITY PERSPECTIVES ON NUCLEAR POWER PLANT CONTROL ROOM MODERNIZATION

Description: Commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs) in the United States need to modernize their main control rooms (MCR). Many NPPs have done partial upgrades with some success and with some challenges. The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program, and in particular the Advanced Instrumentation and Controls (I&C) and Information Systems Technologies Research and Development (R&D) Pathway within LWRS, is designed to assist commercial nuclear power industry with their MCR modernization efforts. As part of this framework, a survey was issued to utility representatives of the LWRS Program Advanced Instrumentation, Information, and Control Systems/Technologies (II&C) Utility Working Group to obtain their views on a range of issues related to MCR modernization, including: drivers, barriers, and technology options, and the effects these aspects will have on concepts of operations, modernization strategies, and staffing. This paper summarizes the key survey results and discusses their implications.
Date: July 1, 2012
Creator: Joe, Jeffrey C.; Boring, Ronald L. & Persensky, Julius J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

HYBRID ALARM SYSTEMS: COMBINING SPATIAL ALARMS AND ALARM LISTS FOR OPTIMIZED CONTROL ROOM OPERATION

Description: The US Department of Energy (DOE) is sponsoring research, development, and deployment on Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS), in which the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is working closely with nuclear utilities to develop technologies and solutions to help ensure the safe operational life extension of current nuclear power plants. One of the main areas of focus is control room modernization. Within control room modernization, alarm system upgrades present opportunities to meet the broader goals of the LWRS project in demonstrating the use and safety of the advanced instrumentation and control (I&C) technologies and the short-term and longer term objectives of the plant. In this paper, we review approaches for and human factors issues behind upgrading alarms in the main control room of nuclear power plants.
Date: July 1, 2012
Creator: Boring, Ronald L. & Persensky, J.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE TREATMENT OF COMPUTERIZED PROCEDURES IN HUMAN RELIABILITY ANALYSIS

Description: Computerized procedures (CPs) are an emerging technology within nuclear power plant control rooms. While CPs have been implemented internationally in advanced control rooms, to date no US nuclear power plant has implemented CPs in its main control room. Yet, CPs are a reality of new plant builds and are an area of considerable interest to existing plants, which see advantages in terms of easier records management by omitting the need for updating hardcopy procedures. The overall intent of this paper is to provide a characterization of human reliability analysis (HRA) issues for computerized procedures. It is beyond the scope of this document to propose a new HRA approach or to recommend specific methods or refinements to those methods. Rather, this paper serves as a review of current HRA as it may be used for the analysis and review of computerized procedures.
Date: July 1, 2012
Creator: Boring, Ronald L. & Gertman, David I.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FAULT DIAGNOSIS WITH MULTI-STATE ALARMS IN A NUCLEAR POWER CONTROL SIMULATOR

Description: This research addresses how alarm systems can increase operator performance within nuclear power plant operations. The experiment examined the effect of two types of alarm systems (two-state and three-state alarms) on alarm compliance and diagnosis for two types of faults differing in complexity. We hypothesized three-state alarms would improve performance in alarm recognition and fault diagnoses over that of two-state alarms. We used sensitivity and criterion based on Signal Detection Theory to measure performance. We further hypothesized that operator trust would be highest when using three-state alarms. The findings from this research showed participants performed better and had more trust in three-state alarms compared to two-state alarms. Furthermore, these findings have significant theoretical implications and practical applications as they apply to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of nuclear power plant operations.
Date: October 1, 2012
Creator: Ragsdale, Austin; Lew, Roger; Dyre, Brian P. & Boring, Ronald L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FRAMEWORK AND APPLICATION FOR MODELING CONTROL ROOM CREW PERFORMANCE AT NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

Description: This paper summarizes an emerging project regarding the utilization of high-fidelity MIDAS simulations for visualizing and modeling control room crew performance at nuclear power plants. The key envisioned uses for MIDAS-based control room simulations are: (i) the estimation of human error associated with advanced control room equipment and configurations, (ii) the investigative determination of contributory cognitive factors for risk significant scenarios involving control room operating crews, and (iii) the certification of reduced staffing levels in advanced control rooms. It is proposed that MIDAS serves as a key component for the effective modeling of cognition, elements of situation awareness, and risk associated with human performance in next generation control rooms.
Date: September 1, 2008
Creator: Boring, Ronald L; Gertman, David I; Tran, Tuan Q & Gore, Brian F
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

HUMAN RELIABILITY ANALYSIS FOR COMPUTERIZED PROCEDURES

Description: This paper provides a characterization of human reliability analysis (HRA) issues for computerized procedures in nuclear power plant control rooms. It is beyond the scope of this paper to propose a new HRA approach or to recommend specific methods or refinements to those methods. Rather, this paper provides a review of HRA as applied to traditional paper-based procedures, followed by a discussion of what specific factors should additionally be considered in HRAs for computerized procedures. Performance shaping factors and failure modes unique to computerized procedures are highlighted. Since there is no definitive guide to HRA for paper-based procedures, this paper also serves to clarify the existing guidance on paper-based procedures before delving into the unique aspects of computerized procedures.
Date: September 1, 2011
Creator: Boring, Ronald L.; Gertman, David I. & Blanc, Katya Le
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Human Reliability Analysis in the U.S. Nuclear Power Industry: A Comparison of Atomistic and Holistic Methods

Description: A variety of methods have been developed to generate human error probabilities for use in the US nuclear power industry. When actual operations data are not available, it is necessary for an analyst to estimate these probabilities. Most approaches, including THERP, ASEP, SLIM-MAUD, and SPAR-H, feature an atomistic approach to characterizing and estimating error. The atomistic approach is based on the notion that events and their causes can be decomposed and individually quantified. In contrast, in the holistic approach, such as found in ATHEANA, the analysis centers on the entire event, which is typically quantified as an indivisible whole. The distinction between atomistic and holistic approaches is important in understanding the nature of human reliability analysis quantification and the utility and shortcomings associated with each approach.
Date: September 1, 2005
Creator: Boring, Ronald L.; Gertman, David I.; Joe, Jeffrey C. & Marble, Julie L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Science-Based Simulation Model of Human Performance for Human Reliability Analysis

Description: Human reliability analysis (HRA), a component of an integrated probabilistic risk assessment (PRA), is the means by which the human contribution to risk is assessed, both qualitatively and quantitatively. However, among the literally dozens of HRA methods that have been developed, most cannot fully model and quantify the types of errors that occurred at Three Mile Island. Furthermore, all of the methods lack a solid empirical basis, relying heavily on expert judgment or empirical results derived in non-reactor domains. Finally, all of the methods are essentially static, and are thus unable to capture the dynamics of an accident in progress. The objective of this work is to begin exploring a dynamic simulation approach to HRA, one whose models have a basis in psychological theories of human performance, and whose quantitative estimates have an empirical basis. This paper highlights a plan to formalize collaboration among the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the University of Maryland, and The Ohio State University (OSU) to continue development of a simulation model initially formulated at the University of Maryland. Initial work will focus on enhancing the underlying human performance models with the most recent psychological research, and on planning follow-on studies to establish an empirical basis for the model, based on simulator experiments to be carried out at the INL and at the OSU.
Date: October 1, 2011
Creator: Kelly, Dana L.; Boring, Ronald L.; Mosleh, Ali & Smidts, Carol
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Review of Methods Related to Assessing Human Performance in Nuclear Power Plant Control Room Simulations

Description: With the increased use of digital systems in Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) control rooms comes a need to thoroughly understand the human performance issues associated with digital systems. A common way to evaluate human performance is to test operators and crews in NPP control room simulators. However, it is often challenging to characterize human performance in meaningful ways when measuring performance in NPP control room simulations. A review of the literature in NPP simulator studies reveals a variety of ways to measure human performance in NPP control room simulations including direct observation, automated computer logging, recordings from physiological equipment, self-report techniques, protocol analysis and structured debriefs, and application of model-based evaluation. These methods and the particular measures used are summarized and evaluated.
Date: November 1, 2001
Creator: Blanc, Katya L Le; Boring, Ronald L & Gertman, David I
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

REVIEW Of COMPUTERIZED PROCEDURE GUIDELINES FOR NUCLEAR POWER PLANT CONTROL ROOMS

Description: Computerized procedures (CPs) are recognized as an emerging alternative to paper-based procedures for supporting control room operators in nuclear power plants undergoing life extension and in the concept of operations for advanced reactor designs. CPs potentially reduce operator workload, yield increases in efficiency, and provide for greater resilience. Yet, CPs may also adversely impact human and plant performance if not designed and implemented properly. Therefore, it is important to ensure that existing guidance is sufficient to provide for proper implementation and monitoring of CPs. In this paper, human performance issues were identified based on a review of the behavioral science literature, research on computerized procedures in nuclear and other industries, and a review of industry experience with CPs. The review of human performance issues led to the identification of a number of technical gaps in available guidance sources. To address some of the gaps, we developed 13 supplemental guidelines to support design and safety. This paper presents these guidelines and the case for further research.
Date: September 1, 2011
Creator: Gertman, David I; Blanc, Katya Le & Boring, Ronald L
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

SIG -- The Role of Human-Computer Interaction in Next-Generation Control Rooms

Description: The purpose of this CHI Special Interest Group (SIG) is to facilitate the convergence between human-computer interaction (HCI) and control room design. HCI researchers and practitioners actively need to infuse state-of-the-art interface technology into control rooms to meet usability, safety, and regulatory requirements. This SIG outlines potential HCI contributions to instrumentation and control (I&C) and automation in control rooms as well as to general control room design.
Date: April 1, 2005
Creator: Boring, Ronald L.; Hugo, Jacques; Richard, Christian & Dudenhoeffer, Donald D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Origins of the SPAR-H Method's Performance Shaping Factor Multipliers

Description: The Standardized Plant Analysis Risk-Human Reliability Analysis (SPAR-H) method has proved to be a reliable, easy-to-use method for human reliability analysis. Calculation of human error probability (HEP) rates is especially straightforward, starting with pre-defined nominal error rates for cognitive vs. action oriented tasks, and incorporating performance shaping factor (PSF) multipliers upon those nominal error rates. SPAR-H uses eight PSFs with multipliers typically corresponding to nominal, degraded, and severely degraded human performance for individual PSFs. Additionally, some PSFs feature multipliers to reflect enhanced performance. Although SPAR-H enjoys widespread use among industry and regulators, current source documents on SPAR-H such as NUREG/CR-6883 do not provide a clear account of the origin of these multipliers. The present paper redresses this shortcoming and documents the historic development of the SPAR-H PSF multipliers, from the initial use of nominal error rates, to the selection of the eight PSFs, to the mapping of multipliers to available data sources such as a Technique for Human Error Rate Prediction (THERP). Where error rates were not readily derived from THERP and other sources, expert judgment was used to extrapolate appropriate values. In documenting key background information on the multipliers, this paper provides a much needed cross-reference for human reliability practitioners and researchers of SPAR-H to validate analyses and research findings.
Date: August 1, 2007
Creator: Boring, Ronald L. & Blackman, Harold S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Measure of Human Error: Direct and Indirect Performance Shaping Factors

Description: The goal of performance shaping factors (PSFs) is to provide measures to account for human performance. PSFs fall into two categories—direct and indirect measures of human performance. While some PSFs such as “time to complete a task” are directly measurable, other PSFs, such as “fitness for duty,” can only be measured indirectly through other measures and PSFs, such as through fatigue measures. This paper explores the role of direct and indirect measures in human reliability analysis (HRA) and the implications that measurement theory has on analyses and applications using PSFs. The paper concludes with suggestions for maximizing the reliability and validity of PSFs.
Date: August 1, 2007
Creator: Boring, Ronald L.; Griffith, Candice D. & Joe, Jeffrey C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

MODELING HUMAN RELIABILITY ANALYSIS USING MIDAS

Description: This paper summarizes an emerging collaboration between Idaho National Laboratory and NASA Ames Research Center regarding the utilization of high-fidelity MIDAS simulations for modeling control room crew performance at nuclear power plants. The key envisioned uses for MIDAS-based control room simulations are: (i) the estimation of human error with novel control room equipment and configurations, (ii) the investigative determination of risk significance in recreating past event scenarios involving control room operating crews, and (iii) the certification of novel staffing levels in control rooms. It is proposed that MIDAS serves as a key component for the effective modeling of risk in next generation control rooms.
Date: May 1, 2006
Creator: Boring, Ronald L.; Dudenhoeffer, Donald D.; Hallbert, Bruce P. & Gore, Brian F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department