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Towards A Unified HFE Process For The Nuclear Industry

Description: As nuclear power utilities embark on projects to upgrade and modernize power plants, they are likely to discover that traditional engineering methods do not typically make provision for the integration of human considerations. In addition, human factors professionals will find that traditional human performance methods such as function allocation, task analysis, human reliability analysis and human-machine interface design do not scale well to the complexity of a large-scale nuclear power upgrade project. Up-to-date human factors engineering processes, methods, techniques and tools are required to perform these kinds of analyses. This need is recognized widely in industry and an important part of the Department of Energy’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program deals with identifying potential impacts of emerging technologies on human performance and the technical bases needed to address them. However, so far no formal initiative has been launched to deal with the lack of integrated processes. Although human factors integration frameworks do exist in industries such as aviation or defense, no formal integrated human factors process exists in the nuclear industry. As a first step towards creating such a process, a “unified human factors engineering process” is proposed as a framework within which engineering organizations, human factors practitioners and regulatory bodies can ensure that human factors requirements are embedded in engineering activities throughout the upgrade project life cycle.
Date: July 1, 2012
Creator: Hugo, Jacques
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reviewing Consensus HFE Standards for NRC Use: A Case Study using the IEEE Standard for Computerized Operating Procedure Systems

Description: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) endorsement of consensus standards provides a cost-effective means of enhancing the staff’s ability to review state-of-the-art designs. Although the NRC endorsed consensus standards in many technical disciplines, it yet has to do so in human factors engineering (HFE). The purpose of our study was to develop a standardized methodology whereby to evaluate a consensus HFE standard to determine its appropriateness to, and adequacy for using in licensing reviews. The high-level objective of the methodology is to ensure that the guidance meets the NRC’s requirements on scientific- and engineering-rigor that they use in developing their own guidance. We propose four criteria for endorsing a consensus standard: (1) It should meet an existing need for NRC’s licensing and safety reviews; (2) it should be based on sound HFE principles; (3) it should be thoroughly peer-reviewed; and, (4) it should address human performance issues identified in the literature. Our methodology offers a means to assess these four criteria. We used it to evaluate an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) draft standard on computerized operating procedure systems. We concluded that the IEEE standard generally met the established criteria, although several areas were identified that needed further clarification. Our evaluation methodology particularly was useful for identifying issues to be resolved, and for providing a basis for judging whether the staff should consider endorsing the standard. The methodology also helped recognize criteria in the proposed standard that may benefit from additional scrutiny by the staff. The evaluation methodology developed is applicable generally to reviewing other HFE standards that the NRC is considering for use or endorsement.
Date: November 7, 2010
Creator: OHara, J.M.; Higgins, J. & Xing, J., Fleger S. - NRC
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

What happened after the evaluation?

Description: An ergonomics program including a ergonomic computer workstation evaluations at a research and development facility was assessed three years after formal implementation. As part of the assessment, 53 employees who had been subjects of computer workstation evaluations were interviewed. The documented reports (ergonomic evaluation forms) of the ergonomic evaluations were used in the process of selecting the interview subjects. The evaluation forms also provided information about the aspects of the computer workstation that were discussed and recommended as part of the evaluation, although the amount of detail and completeness of the forms varied. Although the results were mixed and reflective of the multivariate psychosocial factors affecting employees working in a large organization, the findings led to recommendations for improvements of the program.
Date: March 12, 1999
Creator: Bennett, C L
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ready, set, go . . . well maybe

Description: The agenda for this presentation is: (1) understand organizational readiness for changes; (2) review benefits and challenges of change; (3) share case studies of ergonomic programs that were 'not ready' and some that were 'ready'; and (4) provide some ideas for facilitating change.
Date: February 28, 2011
Creator: Alexandre, Melanie M & Bartolome, Terri-Lynn C
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ergonomic Improvements for Foundries

Description: The goal of this project was to make improvements to the production systems of the steel casting industry through ergonomic improvements. Because of the wide variety of products, the wide range of product sizes, and the relatively small quantities of any particular product, manual operations remain a vital part of the production systems of the steel casting companies. Ergonomic improvements will assist the operators to more efficiently and consistently produce quality products.
Date: June 18, 2002
Creator: Peters, Frank & Patterson, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Illumina Production Sequencing at the DOE Joint Genome Institute - Workflow and Optimizations

Description: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute?s (JGI) Production Sequencing group is committed to the generation of high-quality genomic DNA sequence to support the DOE mission areas of renewable energy generation, global carbon management, and environmental characterization and clean-up. Within the JGI?s Production Sequencing group, the Illumina Genome Analyzer pipeline has been established as one of three sequencing platforms, along with Roche/454 and ABI/Sanger. Optimization of the Illumina pipeline has been ongoing with the aim of continual process improvement of the laboratory workflow. These process improvement projects are being led by the JGI?s Process Optimization, Sequencing Technologies, Instrumentation& Engineering, and the New Technology Production groups. Primary focus has been on improving the procedural ergonomics and the technicians? operating environment, reducing manually intensive technician operations with different tools, reducing associated production costs, and improving the overall process and generated sequence quality. The U.S. DOE JGI was established in 1997 in Walnut Creek, CA, to unite the expertise and resources of five national laboratories? Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Pacific Northwest ? along with HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. JGI is operated by the University of California for the U.S. DOE.
Date: June 18, 2010
Creator: Tarver, Angela; Fern, Alison; Diego, Matthew San; Kennedy, Megan; Zane, Matthew; Daum, Christopher et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ready, set...go!

Description: The objectives of this paper are: (1) Discuss organizational readiness for changes in an ergonomics program or intervention; (2) Assessing organizational readiness; (3) Benefits and challenges of change; and (4) Case studies of ergonomic programs that were 'not ready' and 'ready'.
Date: June 16, 2010
Creator: Alexandre, Melanie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Human Factors Aspects of Operating Small Reactors

Description: The nuclear-power community has reached the stage of proposing advanced reactor designs to support power generation for decades to come. They are considering small modular reactors (SMRs) as one approach to meet these energy needs. While the power output of individual reactor modules is relatively small, they can be grouped to produce reactor sites with different outputs. Also, they can be designed to generate hydrogen, or to process heat. Many characteristics of SMRs are quite different from those of current plants, and so may require a concept of operations (ConOps) that also is different. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has begun examining the human factors engineering- (HFE) and ConOps- aspects of SMRs; if needed, they will formulate guidance to support SMR licensing reviews. We developed a ConOps model, consisting of the following dimensions: Plant mission; roles and responsibilities of all agents; staffing, qualifications, and training; management of normal operations; management of off-normal conditions and emergencies; and, management of maintenance and modifications. We are reviewing information on SMR design to obtain data about each of these dimensions, and have identified several preliminary issues. In addition, we are obtaining operations-related information from other types of multi-module systems, such as refineries, to identify lessons learned from their experience. Here, we describe the project's methodology and our preliminary findings.
Date: November 7, 2010
Creator: OHara, J.M.; Higgins, J.; Deem, R. (BNL); Xing, J. & DAgostino, A. (NRC)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Human Factors Engineering Program Review Model (NUREG-0711)Revision 3: Update Methodology and Key Revisions

Description: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reviews the human factors engineering (HFE) programs of applicants for nuclear power plant construction permits, operating licenses, standard design certifications, and combined operating licenses. The purpose of these safety reviews is to help ensure that personnel performance and reliability are appropriately supported. Detailed design review procedures and guidance for the evaluations is provided in three key documents: the Standard Review Plan (NUREG-0800), the HFE Program Review Model (NUREG-0711), and the Human-System Interface Design Review Guidelines (NUREG-0700). These documents were last revised in 2007, 2004 and 2002, respectively. The NRC is committed to the periodic update and improvement of the guidance to ensure that it remains a state-of-the-art design evaluation tool. To this end, the NRC is updating its guidance to stay current with recent research on human performance, advances in HFE methods and tools, and new technology being employed in plant and control room design. NUREG-0711 is the first document to be addressed. We present the methodology used to update NUREG-0711 and summarize the main changes made. Finally, we discuss the current status of the update program and the future plans.
Date: July 22, 2012
Creator: M., OHara J.; Higgins, J. & Fleger, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Human Reliability Considerations for Small Modular Reactors

Description: Small modular reactors (SMRs) are a promising approach to meeting future energy needs. Although the electrical output of an individual SMR is relatively small compared to that of typical commercial nuclear plants, they can be grouped to produce as much energy as a utility demands. Furthermore, SMRs can be used for other purposes, such as producing hydrogen and generating process heat. The design characteristics of many SMRs differ from those of current conventional plants and may require a distinct concept of operations. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) conducted research to examine the human factors engineering and the operational aspects of SMRs. The research identified thirty potential human-performance issues that should be considered in the NRC's reviews of SMR designs and in future research activities. The purpose of this report is to illustrate how the issues can support SMR probabilistic risk analyses and their review by identifying potential human failure events for a subset of the issues. As part of addressing the human contribution to plant risk, human reliability analysis practitioners identify and quantify the human failure events that can negatively impact normal or emergency plant operations. The results illustrated here can be generalized to identify additional human failure events for the issues discussed and can be applied to those issues not discussed in this report.
Date: January 27, 2012
Creator: M., OHara J.; Higgins, H.; DAgostino, A. & Erasmia, L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trends in HFE Methods and Tools and Their Applicability to Safety Reviews

Description: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) conducts human factors engineering (HFE) safety reviews of applicant submittals for new plants and for changes to existing plants. The reviews include the evaluation of the methods and tools (M&T) used by applicants as part of their HFE program. The technology used to perform HFE activities has been rapidly evolving, resulting in a whole new generation of HFE M&Ts. The objectives of this research were to identify the current trends in HFE methods and tools, determine their applicability to NRC safety reviews, and identify topics for which the NRC may need additional guidance to support the NRC's safety reviews. We conducted a survey that identified over 100 new HFE M&Ts. The M&Ts were assessed to identify general trends. Seven trends were identified: Computer Applications for Performing Traditional Analyses, Computer-Aided Design, Integration of HFE Methods and Tools, Rapid Development Engineering, Analysis of Cognitive Tasks, Use of Virtual Environments and Visualizations, and Application of Human Performance Models. We assessed each trend to determine its applicability to the NRC's review by considering (1) whether the nuclear industry is making use of M&Ts for each trend, and (2) whether M&Ts reflecting the trend can be reviewed using the current design review guidance. We concluded that M&T trends that are applicable to the commercial nuclear industry and are expected to impact safety reviews may be considered for review guidance development. Three trends fell into this category: Analysis of Cognitive Tasks, Use of Virtual Environments and Visualizations, and Application of Human Performance Models. The other trends do not need to be addressed at this time.
Date: September 30, 2009
Creator: O'Hara, J.M.; Plott, C.; Milanski, J.; Ronan, A.; Scheff, S.; Laux, L. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multi-unit Operations in Non-Nuclear Systems: Lessons Learned for Small Modular Reactors

Description: The nuclear-power community has reached the stage of proposing advanced reactor designs to support power generation for decades to come. Small modular reactors (SMRs) are one approach to meet these energy needs. While the power output of individual reactor modules is relatively small, they can be grouped to produce reactor sites with different outputs. Also, they can be designed to generate hydrogen, or to process heat. Many characteristics of SMRs are quite different from those of current plants and may be operated quite differently. One difference is that multiple units may be operated by a single crew (or a single operator) from one control room. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is examining the human factors engineering (HFE) aspects of SMRs to support licensing reviews. While we reviewed information on SMR designs to obtain information, the designs are not completed and all of the design and operational information is not yet available. Nor is there information on multi-unit operations as envisioned for SMRs available in operating experience. Thus, to gain a better understanding of multi-unit operations we sought the lesson learned from non-nuclear systems that have experience in multi-unit operations, specifically refineries, unmanned aerial vehicles and tele-intensive care units. In this paper we report the lessons learned from these systems and the implications for SMRs.
Date: January 17, 2012
Creator: M., OHara J.; Higgins, J. & DAgostino, A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Applying Human-performance Models to Designing and Evaluating Nuclear Power Plants: Review Guidance and Technical Basis

Description: Human performance models (HPMs) are simulations of human behavior with which we can predict human performance. Designers use them to support their human factors engineering (HFE) programs for a wide range of complex systems, including commercial nuclear power plants. Applicants to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) can use HPMs for design certifications, operating licenses, and license amendments. In the context of nuclear-plant safety, it is important to assure that HPMs are verified and validated, and their usage is consistent with their intended purpose. Using HPMs improperly may generate misleading or incorrect information, entailing safety concerns. The objective of this research was to develop guidance to support the NRC staff's reviews of an applicant's use of HPMs in an HFE program. The guidance is divided into three topical areas: (1) HPM Verification, (2) HPM Validation, and (3) User Interface Verification. Following this guidance will help ensure the benefits of HPMs are achieved in a technically sound, defensible manner. During the course of developing this guidance, I identified several issues that could not be addressed; they also are discussed.
Date: November 30, 2009
Creator: O'Hara, J.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Participatory ergonomics for ergonomists

Description: This paper makes a case for the use of participatory ergonomics by and for ergonomists. A strategy for using participatory ergonomics in a conference workshop format is described. The process could be used as a tool for issues of common concern among ergonomists. it would also offer an experience of the participatory ergonomics process. An example workshop on quantifying costs and benefits of ergonomics is discussed.
Date: April 3, 1997
Creator: Bennett, C.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A human engineering and ergonomic evaluation of the security access panel interface

Description: The purpose of this study was to empirically determine which of several security hardware interface designs produced the highest levels of end-user performance and acceptance. The FESSP Security Alarms and Monitoring Systems program area commissioned the authors study as decision support for upgrading the Argus security system`s primary user interface so that Argus equipment will support the new DOE and DoD security access badges. Twenty-two test subjects were repeatedly tested using six remote access panel (RAP) designs. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) uses one of these interface designs in its security access booths. Along with the RAP B insert-style reader, the authors tested five prototype RAP variants, each with a different style of swipe badge reader, through which a badge is moved or swiped. The authors asked the untrained test subjects to use each RAP while they described how they thought they should respond so that the system would operate correctly in reading the magnetic strip on a security badge. With each RAP variant, subjects were required to make four successful card reads (swipes) in which the card reader correctly read and logged the transaction. After each trial, a subject completed a 10-item interface acceptance evaluation before approaching the next RAP. After interacting with the RAP interfaces (for a total of the six RAP trials), each subject completed a 7-item overview evaluation that compared and ranked the five experimental RAPs, using the original (RAP B) insert style as a standard.
Date: February 1, 1995
Creator: Hartney, C. & Banks, W.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Driver performance data acquisition system for ergonomics research

Description: A portable ergonomics data acquisition system consisting of state-of-the-art hardware being designed is described here. It will be employed to record driver, vehicle, and environment parameter data from a wide range of vehicles and trucks. The system will be unobtrusive to the driver and inconspicuous to the outside world. It will have three modes of data gathering and provide for extended periods of data collection. Modularity, flexibility, and cost will be key drivers in the development effort. The ergonomics data acquisition system project is being conducted in two phases--a feasibility study and a development, construction, and validation phase.
Date: December 31, 1994
Creator: Carter, R.J. & Goodman, M.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Operator role definition: An initial step in the human factors engineering design of the advanced neutron source (ANS)

Description: The Advanced Neutron Source (ANS) is a new basic and applied research facility sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy that is proposed for construction. It will provide neutron beams for measurements and experiments in the fields of materials science and engineering, biology, chemistry, materials analysis, and nuclear science. The facility will provide a useful neutron beam flux that is at least five times more than is available at the world`s best existing facilities. It will also provide world-class facilities for isotopes production, materials irradiation testing, materials analysis, and the production of positrons. ANS will be unique in the United States in the extent to which human factors engineering (HFE) principles will be included in its design and construction. Initial HFE accomplishments include the development of a functional analysis, an operating philosophy, and a program plan. In fiscal year 1994, HFE activities are focusing on the role of the ANS control room reactor operator (RO). An operator-centered control room model was used in conjunction with information gathered from existing ANS system design descriptions and other literature to define RO responsibilities. From this list, a survey instrument was developed and administered to ANS design engineers, operations management personnel at Oak Ridge National Laboratory`s High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), and HFIR ROs to detail the nature of the RO position. Initial results indicated that the RO should function as a high-level system supervisor with considerable monitoring, verification, and communication responsibilities. The relatively high level of control automation has resulted in a reshaping of the RO`s traditional safety and investment protection roles.
Date: December 31, 1994
Creator: Knee, H.E.; Spelt, P.F.; Houser, M.M. & Hill, W.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The use of simulation in the development of human factors guidelines for alarm systems

Description: This paper describes a research program sponsored by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to address the human factors engineering (HFE) aspects of nuclear power plant alarm systems. The overall objective of the program is to develop HFE review guidance for advanced alarm systems. As part of this program, guidance was developed based on a broad review and analysis of technical and research literature. In the course of guidance development, aspects of alarm system design for which the technical basis was insufficient to support guidance developed were identified. Experimental research is currently underway to address the highest priority topics: alarm processing and display characteristics. This paper provides an overview of the approach to guidance development and discusses the role of simulation in the development approach. Finally, the current simulator-based experiment is described to illustrate how the alarm system design features are being studied.
Date: July 1, 1997
Creator: O`Hara, J.; Brown, W.S.; Hallbert, B.; Skraaning, G.; Wachtel, J. & Persensky, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department