Unlike renewables such as wind and photovoltaics, nuclear power is a carbon-free source of energy that offers reliable, dispatchable baseload energy. This unique characteristic makes nuclear energy an important component of the U.S. mix of carbon-free energy, and thus, a major contributor to achieving the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement. However, the current fleet of nuclear power plants are being outpriced by other energy sources, such as natural gas. One contributor to the high cost of nuclear is the outdated concept of operations. The current fleet of nuclear reactors employs the same concept of operations they started with over half a century ago. Idaho National Laboratory’s (INL’s) Human Factors Engineering (HFE) team under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program is engaged in helping the nuclear fleet modernize their control rooms. The goal is to transform nuclear power plant operators’ perceptions to improve efficient and safe plant operation. A major component to successfully transforming an aged control room with advanced technology is to use a design philosophy that guides the modernization effort. This paper discusses design philosophy and the role it plays. Also discussed is the initial approach to design philosophy and adherence to safety and regulatory requirements. Last, a brief discussion of how INL’s HFE team plans to implement a design philosophy that can be used industry wide.