OECD Halden Reactor Project, Man-Technology Organisation (MTO) Section: the OECD’s Halden Reactor Project (HRP) is described in greater detail in the reactor safety section. In the MTO section that is described here, empirical studies are carried out on the interaction between reactor operators and the monitoring displays and control panels that are available to them in control rooms (Human-System Interface Design).
The focus here is on future technical systems and training for them. For example, a data survey was completed with performance tests and interviews on innovative display systems. Electronic visualisation instruments are used to reduce radiation exposure during work in nuclear power plants by planning, practising and then optimising tasks in the virtual environment. In addition, an overview of guidelines for the design of control rooms was completed, and software was developed that can show sources of radiation and shielding in a virtual model of a nuclear plant.
Studies on human reliability (Human Reliability Analysis) are used to continue improving analytical methods for the triggers of human failures and for the probability of such failures. Simulator experiments were carried out with ten groups of operators in order to obtain reference data regarding their actions in case of incidents.
First results were published for two scenarios: “Steam generator heating tube rupture” and “Loss of feed water in a pressurised water reactor”. Finally, consideration was given to the constantly growing dependency of nuclear safety technology on computer-based systems, and their reliability. Software for monitoring reactor power was tested in a simulator, in connection with important failures that are triggered by the same cause (known as Common Cause Failures). In addition, various modernisation projects for control technology were examined in a retrospective study of the requirements for the system to be developed.