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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

Human error mitigation initiative (HEMI) : summary report.

Description: Despite continuing efforts to apply existing hazard analysis methods and comply with requirements, human errors persist across the nuclear weapons complex. Due to a number of factors, current retroactive and proactive methods to understand and minimize human error are highly subjective, inconsistent in numerous dimensions, and are cumbersome to characterize as thorough. An alternative and proposed method begins with leveraging historical data to understand what the systemic issues are and where resources need to be brought to bear proactively to minimize the risk of future occurrences. An illustrative analysis was performed using existing incident databases specific to Pantex weapons operations indicating systemic issues associated with operating procedures that undergo notably less development rigor relative to other task elements such as tooling and process flow. Future recommended steps to improve the objectivity, consistency, and thoroughness of hazard analysis and mitigation were delineated.
Date: November 1, 2004
Creator: Stevens, Susan M.; Ramos, M. Victoria; Wenner, Caren A. & Brannon, Nathan Gregory
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


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

The Development of A Human Systems Simulation Laboratory: Strategic Direction

Description: The Human System Simulation Laboratory (HSSL) at the Idaho National Laboratory is one of few facilities of its kind that allows human factors researchers to evaluate various aspects of human performance and human system interaction for proposed reactor designs and upgrades. A basic system architecture, physical configuration and simulation capability were established to enable human factors researchers to support multiple, simultaneous simulations and also different power plant technologies. Although still evolving in terms of its technical and functional architecture, the HSSL is already proving its worth in supporting current and future nuclear industry needs for light water reactor sustainability and small modular reactors. The evolution of the HSSL is focused on continual physical and functional refinement to make it a fully equipped, reconfigurable facility where advanced research, testing and validation studies can be conducted on a wider range of reactor technologies. This requires the implementation of additional plant models to produce empirical research data on human performance with emerging human-system interaction technologies. Additional beneficiaries of this information include system designers and HRA practitioners. To ensure that results of control room crew studies will be generalizable to the existing and evolving fleet of US reactors, future expansion of the HSSL may also include other SMR plant models, plant-specific simulators and a generic plant model aligned to the current generation of pressurized water reactors (PWRs) and future advanced reactor designs. Collaboration with industry partners is also proving to be a vital component of the facility as this helps to establish a formal basis for current and future human performance experiments to support nuclear industry objectives. A long-range Program Plan has been developed for the HSSL to ensure that the facility will support not only the Department of Energy’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program, but also to provide human factors guidance for all ...
Date: July 1, 2012
Creator: Hugo, Jacques; Blanc, Katya le & Gertman, David
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Issues for resolving adverse effects on the safety culture of human work underload and workload transitions in complex human-machine systems

Description: A workshop was conducted whose specific purpose was to build on earlier work of the US National Research Council, US federal government agencies, and the larger human factors community to: (1) clarify human factors issues pertaining to degraded safety performance in advanced human-machine systems(e.g., nuclear production, transportation, aerospace) due to human work underload and workload transition, and (2) develop strategies for resolving these issues. The workshop affirmed that: (1) work underload and workload transition are issues that will have to be addressed by designers of advanced human-machine systems, especially those relying on automation, if cost, performance, safety, and operator acceptability are to be optimized, (2) human machine allocation models, standards and guidelines which go beyond simple capability approaches will be needed to preclude or seriously diminish the work underload and workload transition problems, and (3) the 16 workload definition, measurement, situational awareness, and trust issues identified during the workshop, need resolution if these models, standards, and guidelines are to be achieved.
Date: August 1, 1996
Creator: Ryan, T.G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Empirical Investigation of Psychophysiological Characteristics and Psychological Variables in Information Systems Human Factors Research

Description: The purpose of this study was to test the comparability of several psychological instruments commonly used in Information Systems (IS) cognitive style research. The objective was to determine the limitations of: existing instruments in IS cognitive style research. The motivation for this research was the inconclusive findings reported in IS human information processing research. The study used a repeated measures design. Each individual completed the following cognitive style and personality instruments; the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Group Embedded-figures Test, the Learning Style Inventory, the Human Information Processing Survey, and the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (Figural Form A). The individual also completed a dichotic listening and tachistoscope task. Data was collected from business administration, BCIS, liberal arts majors, and IS professionals. The results of this study indicate IS researchers need to consider several factors in the use of these instruments. A direct relationship exists between cognitive ability and results on the GEFT. Cognitive ability should be considered a moderating variable in interpreting the results of the GEFT. Also, the hypothesis that the GEFT is a surrogate for analytical and low-analytical abilities is not supported by this study. Other reported results include the inappropriateness of using the TTCT with adult populations. Also, the MBTI appears to be an appropriate instrument for measuring cognitive styles in IS research. This study reported that gender is a moderating factor on the classification of MBTI types in that gender is not evenly divided among feeling and thinking types. This study reported no relationships between the cognitive style and personality instruments with the physiological measurements. The validity of the physiological measurements could be the underlying factor for not reporting any significant relationships. IS researchers will benefit from this study through an improved understanding of the appropriateness and applicability of these instruments. This benefits research through the ...
Date: December 1989
Creator: Corman, Lawrence S. (Lawrence Sanger)
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

Final LDRD report human interaction with complex systems: advances in hybrid reachability and control.

Description: This document describes new advances in hybrid reachability techniques accomplished during the course of a one-year Truman Postdoctoral Fellowship. These techniques provide guarantees of safety in complex systems, which is especially important in high-risk, expensive, or safety-critical systems. My work focused on new approaches to two specific problems motivated by real-world issues in complex systems: (1) multi-objective controller synthesis, and (2) control for recovery from error. Regarding the first problem, a novel application of reachability analysis allowed controller synthesis in a single step to achieve (a) safety, (b) stability, and (c) prevent input saturation. By extending the state to include the input parameters, constraints for stability, saturation, and envelope protection are incorporated into a single reachability analysis. Regarding the second problem, a new approach to the problem of recovery provides (a) states from which recovery is possible, and (b) controllers to guide the system during a recovery maneuver from an error state to a safe state in minimal time. Results are computed in both problems on nonlinear models of single longitudinal aircraft dynamics and two-aircraft lateral collision avoidance dynamics.
Date: August 1, 2006
Creator: Oishi, Meeko M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Human Factors Principles in Design of Computer-Mediated Visualization for Robot Missions

Description: With increased use of robots as a resource in missions supporting countermine, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and chemical, biological, radiological nuclear and conventional explosives (CBRNE), fully understanding the best means by which to complement the human operator’s underlying perceptual and cognitive processes could not be more important. Consistent with control and display integration practices in many other high technology computer-supported applications, current robotic design practices rely highly upon static guidelines and design heuristics that reflect the expertise and experience of the individual designer. In order to use what we know about human factors (HF) to drive human robot interaction (HRI) design, this paper reviews underlying human perception and cognition principles and shows how they were applied to a threat detection domain.
Date: December 1, 2008
Creator: Gertman, David I & Bruemmer, David J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Modeling and Simulation Approaches to Developing Human Performance Measures in Nuclear Industry

Description: Human performance is a key component to the safe operation of nuclear power plants. Further, human performance is quite variable, and while some variability may be random, much of it may be attributed to factors that are difficult to assess. There is a need to identify and assess aspects of human performance that relate to plant safety and to develop measures that can be used to successfully assess human performance for purposes of research that can lead to technical basis for developing human factors review criteria.
Date: August 1, 2007
Creator: Hallbert, Bruce P.; Joe, Jeffrey C.; Keefe, Molly J. & Persensky, Julius J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Development of a Human Systems Simulation Laboratory at Idaho National Laoboratory: Progress, Requirements and Lessons Learned

Description: Next generation nuclear power plants and digital upgrades to the existing nuclear fleet introduce potential human performance issues in the control room. Safe application of new technologies calls for a thorough understanding of how those technologies affect human performance and in turn, plant safety. In support of advancing human factors for small modular reactors and light water reactor sustainability, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has developed a reconfigurable simulation laboratory capable of testing human performance in multiple nuclear power plant (NPP) control room simulations. This paper discusses the laboratory infrastructure and capabilities, the laboratory’ s staffing requirements, lessons learned, and the researcher’s approach to measuring human performance in the simulation lab.
Date: November 1, 2010
Creator: Gertman, David I; LeBlanc, Katya L.; phoenix, William & Mecham, Alan R
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Human Factors Considerations in New Nuclear Power Plants: Detailed Analysis.

Description: This Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) sponsored study has identified human-performance issues in new and advanced nuclear power plants. To identify the 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 issues where 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 Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) technical report provides the detailed methodology, issue analysis, and results. A summary of the results of this study can be found in NUREG/CR-6947. The research performed for this project has identified a large number of human-performance issues for new control stations and new nuclear power plant designs. 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 to meet these challenges. The availability of this review guidance will help set clear expectations for how the NRC staff will evaluate new designs, reduce regulatory uncertainty, and provide a well-defined path to new nuclear power plant licensing.
Date: February 14, 2008
Creator: OHara,J.; Higgins, J.; Brown, W. & Fink, R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: The role of images of information (charts, diagrams, maps, and symbols) for effective presentation of facts and concepts is expanding dramatically because of advances in computer graphics technology, increasingly hetero-lingual, hetero-cultural world target populations of information providers, the urgent need to convey more efficiently vast amounts of information, the broadening population of (non-expert) computer users, the decrease of available time for reading texts and for decision making, and the general level of literacy. A coalition of visual performance experts, human engineering specialists, computer scientists, and graphic designers/artists is required to resolve human factors aspects of images of information. The need for, nature of, and benefits of interdisciplinary effort are discussed. The results of an interdisciplinary collaboration are demonstrated in a product for visualizing complex information about global energy interdependence. An invited panel will respond to the presentation.
Date: July 1, 1980
Creator: Marcus, A.
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

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


Description: The development of real-time predictors of mental workload is critical for the practical application of augmented cognition to human-machine systems. This paper explores a novel method based on a short-time Fourier transform (STFT) for analyzing galvanic skin conductance (SC) and pupillometry time-series data to extract estimates of mental workload with temporal bandwidth high-enough to be useful for augmented cognition applications. We tested the method in the context of a process control task based on the DURESS simulation developed by Vincente and Pawlak (1994; ported to Java by Cosentino,& Ross, 1999). SC, pupil dilation, blink rate, and visual scanning patterns were measured for four participants actively engaged in controlling the simulation. Fault events were introduced that required participants to diagnose errors and make control adjustments to keep the simulator operating within a target range. We were interested in whether the STFT of these measures would produce visible effects of the increase in mental workload and stress associated with these events. Graphical exploratory data analysis of the STFT showed visible increases in the power spectrum across a range of frequencies directly following fault events. We believe this approach shows potential as a relatively unobtrusive, low-cost, high bandwidth measure of mental workload that could be particularly useful for the application of augmented cognition to human-machine systems.
Date: September 1, 2008
Creator: Lew, Roger; Dyre, Brian P.; Werner, Steffen; Joe, Jeffrey C.; Wotring, Brian & Tran, Tuan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Human Factors for Situation Assessment in Grid Operations

Description: Executive Summary Despite advances in technology, power system operators must assimilate overwhelming amounts of data to keep the grid operating. Analyses of recent blackouts have clearly demonstrated the need to enhance the operator’s situation awareness (SA). The long-term objective of this research is to integrate valuable technologies into the grid operator environment that support decision making under normal and abnormal operating conditions and remove non-technical barriers to enable the optimum use of these technologies by individuals working alone and as a team. More specifically, the research aims to identify methods and principles to increase SA of grid operators in the context of system conditions that are representative or common across many operating entities and develop operationally relevant experimental methods for studying technologies and operational practices which contribute to SA. With increasing complexity and interconnectivity of the grid, the scope and complexity of situation awareness have grown. New paradigms are needed to guide research and tool development aimed to enhance and improve operations. In reviewing related research, operating practices, systems, and tools, the present study established a taxonomy that provides a perspective on research and development surrounding power grid situation awareness and clarifies the field of human factors/SA for grid operations. Information sources that we used to identify critical factors underlying SA included interviews with experienced operational personnel, available historical summaries and transcripts of abnormal conditions and outages (e.g., the August 14, 2003 blackout), scientific literature, and operational policies/procedures and other documentation. Our analysis of August 2003 blackout transcripts and interviews adopted a different perspective than previous analyses of this material, and we complemented this analysis with additional interviews. Based on our analysis and a broad literature review, we advocate a new perspective on SA in terms of sensemaking, also called situated or ecological decision making, where the focus of the ...
Date: August 8, 2007
Creator: Guttromson, Ross T.; Schur, Anne; Greitzer, Frank L. & Paget, Mia L.
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