Demonstrating the Value of 3D Models to Support Large-Scale Digital Modifications at Nuclear Power Plants
Authors: Jeremy Mohon, Casey Kovesdi
Abstract: The existing nuclear power plants (NPPs) in the United States (U.S.) are important for creating safe and reliable carbon free electricity for now and in the future. Many NPPs are currently in the process of extending their operating licenses for continued generation. Extending the lifespan of these plants provide an opportunity to modernize their operating model by introducing new technologies that reduce operations and maintenance costs. Many businesses have introduced new technologies to help with reducing costs; however, introduction of new technology has created situations where processes were less efficient. Hence, human factors evaluations are needed to help ensure that new technologies can integrate safely and reliably with current operations. Standards and guidelines for applying human factors in NPP modernization are available from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, (NRC) , the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), among others. One such method used in human factors to support modernization is the use of three-dimensional (3D) modeling that enables visualization and anthropometric evaluation. That is, anthropometric data including reach, sight, and distance are important human factors considerations to ensure that all interactions can be completed safely and effectively by personnel interacting with work processes and operations.This report discusses the importance of applying 3D modeling techniques within the context of human factors evaluation for large scale digital NPP modifications. 3D modeling is one area where human factors engineering can be applied when modifying or adding new technology into control room operations. Models of the control room can be created in 3D modeling tools to present visualizations of modifications or new technologies being introduced into the control room. Available software tools such as Trimble Sketchup and Control Room Engineering Advanced Toolkit Environment (CREATE) (developed by the Institute for Energy Technology) can be used to evaluate anthropometric considerations like sight lines, readability, distance of controls, and other related information to represent changes prior to implementing new modifications or technologies in a control room. These tools enable early human factors input that can drive effective decisions making later in the development process. The CREATE tool has been designed to include guidance and information from the NRC (i.e., NUREG-0700) directly into its operating system allowing for human factors guidance to be automatically applied when creating 3D visualization of a control room. 3D modeling can also be used as a visualization tool to describe and report changes to key stakeholders very early on, prior to implementing changes in a control room. This report will summarize recent work performed in collaboration with a partnering utility that generates lessons learned when using 3D modeling for control room modernization.
Keywords: 3D Modeling, Control Room Modernization
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