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A day in the life of the nuclear community
The November issue of Nuclear News is focused on the individuals who make up our nuclear community.
We invited a small group of those individuals to tell us about their day-to-day work in some of the many occupations and applications of nuclear science and technology, and they responded generously. They were ready to tell us about the part they play, together with colleagues and team members, in supplying clean energy, advancing technology, protecting safety and health, and exploring fundamental science.
In these pages, we see a community that can celebrate both those workdays that record progress moving at a steady pace and the exceptional days when a goal is reached, a briefing is delivered, a contract goes through, a discovery is made, or an unforeseen challenge is overcome.
The Nuclear News staff hopes that you enjoy meeting these members of our community—or maybe get reacquainted with friends—through their words and photos.
Ronald L. Boring, Thomas A. Ulrich, Roger Lew, Casey R. Kovesdi, Ahmad Al Rashdan
Nuclear Technology | Volume 205 | Number 4 | April 2019 | Pages 507-523
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2018.1509593
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
An operator-in-the-loop study was conducted in support of control room modernization for a nuclear power plant. The study featured a benchmark comparison on a glass-top simulator of three variants of a turbine control system (TCS): (1) the existing analog TCS, (2) a proposed stand-alone digital TCS with two displays, and (3) the digital TCS with the addition of a third display consisting of a system overview screen. TCS prototypes were developed to allow formative evaluation of operator preferences and performance during realistic turbine scenarios in the full-scope simulator. The study revealed that completion of turbine startup was several minutes faster with the digital TCS variants than with the conventional analog TCS. Eye-tracking fixations were more widely distributed in the overview versus stand-alone TCS condition, suggesting the overview screen was cueing reactor operators to verify values across the boards. There was no significant difference in workload or situation awareness across the three interfaces. Reviewing key plant parameters showed smoother transitions during load-following for the digital-versus-analog TCS. Despite some performance advantages for the digital TCS variants, operators preferred the existing analog TCS. Open-ended responses suggested this finding may be more an artifact of familiarity than a reflection of dissatisfaction with the new TCS. The study provides compelling evidence that the new digital TCS was used successfully by the operators, suggesting high usability for the digital TCS design. Further advantages were realized through the addition of the system overview screen to provide crews with at-a-glance indicators of key turbine parameters.