Incident investigation and root cause analysis (RCA) are widely used in nuclear power plant incident investigation and root cause confirmation. In this paper, based on the analysis literature reviews of root cause investigation of related incidents in IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), Europe and the United States, the analysis methods and techniques or tools of root causes in the world are studied, the incident investigation and analysis methods and techniques for root causes are analyzed and summarized. Through a comparison of various analysis methods and relevant application techniques and tools, differences between these root cause analysis techniques and tools are elaborated in terms of both concept and applicable application. In addition, application of RCA analysis methods and techniques is also briefed based on domestic RCA application practices.

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