The nuclear industry is developing a number of digital systems for application in modernized operating reactors, SMRs, and new/advanced nuclear power reactors. Instrumentation and controls associated with these systems play an important role in the safety and security of these reactors. Increased use of sensors could lead to improved monitoring and diagnostics, with the promise of reducing the need for shiftly surveillance and operator rounds without decreasing safety. Such sensors could also be combined with modern tools such as AI/ML, that hold promise of reducing O&M costs and anticipating issues before turning into costly outages. However, misleading or incorrect data from these same sensors could lead to false confidence or lower reliability during off-normal situations when their information is needed most. Cybersecurity is also a concern, especially if these sensors transmit data wirelessly. Multiple designers and vendors are in various stages of the technology curve extending from cutting-edge research at national laboratories/universities to mature systems that have completed review by a nuclear regulator. This session seeks to discuss perspectives on these research activities, including barriers and challenges to use/licensing, from panelists at all stages along the technology curve. This session will also discuss research activities currently underway, including anticipated research products and development timelines, as well as regulatory research underway in parallel that seeks to develop a solid technical bases to support timely and predictable safety & security reviews when these new systems are submitted to a nuclear regulator for application and use.


  • Ismael Garcia (NRC)
  • Richard Wood (Univ. Tennessee, Knoxville)
  • Suibel Schuppner (DOE-NE)
  • Matt Gibson (EPRI)


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