As part of the ongoing efforts at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program, Idaho National Laboratory is conducting several research projects in collaboration with the nuclear industry to improve the reliability, safety, and economics of the nuclear power industry, especially as the nuclear power plants extend their operating licenses to 80 years. One of these projects is the automated work package (AWP) project. An AWP is an electronic intelligent and interactive work package. It uses plant condition, resources status, and user progress to adaptively drive the work process in a manner that increases efficiency while reducing human error. To achieve this mission, the AWP acquires information from various systems of a nuclear power plant and incorporates several advanced instrumentation and control technologies along with modern human factors techniques.

With the current rapid technological advancement, it is possible to envision several available or soon-to-be-available capabilities that can play a significant role in improving the work package process. As a pilot project, the AWP project develops a prototype of an expanding set of capabilities and evaluates them in an industrial environment. While some of the proposed capabilities are based on using technological advances in other applications, others are conceptual; thus, they require significant research and development to be applicable in an AWP. The scope of this paper is to introduce a set of envisioned capabilities, their need for the industry, and the industry difficulties they resolve.