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Human Factors Engineering Verification and Validation: A Case Study of a Nuclear Power Plant

[+] Author Affiliations
Fei Song, Shuhui Zhang

Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute, Shanghai, China

Paper No. ICONE18-29556, pp. 715-721; 7 pages
  • 18th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • 18th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering: Volume 1
  • Xi’an, China, May 17–21, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4929-3
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Main control room in nuclear power plants (NPP) is a complex system where operators interact with a large amount of human system interface (HSI) resources, which is essential to the safety of the plant. In order to achieve a high standard of human factors engineering (HFE) level and ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the system, verification and validation (V&V) should be performed before the delivery of the plant. This study firstly represents an overview of the HFE project and V&V activities applied in the nuclear industry and relative researches, then, a V&V program from an ongoing 300MW NPP project is discussed in detail. Comparative methods, existing system vs. design requirements, are mainly applied for the verification phase. In the HFE Design Verification, 10 different HFE design guideline sets and corresponding checklists are developed for the experienced reviewers to conduct a thoroughness and consistency review. Critical safety functions, risk important tasks, critical human actions and other necessary operations are verified in the Task Support Verification to insure that HSI provides all required resources for personnel tasks. Other than direct comparison, a development platform is also used to assist the analysis of display, alarm and other appropriate features. In the validation phase, an integrated system test would be completed on a full scope simulator with the participation of experienced operators from the utility as subjects and multi-discipline observers. Scenarios are carefully designed to ensure the representative of the test. Both objective and subjective results would be collected and processed mainly by the descriptive statistics method to find out the problems in the existing design. All the discrepancies found in the whole V&V would be involved in a specific database and tracked until resolved. Lessons learned from this case are discussed.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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