Abstract

Many existing simple systems are incapable of meeting current demand and are quickly becoming obsolete, indicating that more challenging systems and designs will exist in the future. If new technologies are not implemented correctly, human error in operation can quickly manifest. The pattern of human performance degradation when novel technologies are introduced has been found in a wide range of endeavors. For example, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident was a consequence of unanticipated interaction of multiple failures in a system of immense complexity in addition to inadequate training and human factors, such as human-computer interaction design oversight relating to ambiguous control room indicators. To combat the negative effects advancing technologies may have on plant operations, this study discusses several concepts: operator involvement in the systems engineering process; human performance integration with system operational requirements and system testing, evaluation, and validation; and procedures and training development in the systems engineering process. The isolation and bolstering of human performance improvement within the systems engineering process pose a novel approach to moderating human error associated with incorporating advanced technology in nuclear facilities.

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