User Need Assessment Using Simulator Feature Framework

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Olugbenga GideonThomas Ulrich

Abstract: Full-scope nuclear control room simulators were developed to address operator skill deficits associated with several high-profile accidents occurring in the 1980s. Full-scope simulators are increasingly used to support plant modernization and advanced reactor research and development. New digital control room designs use full-scope simulators to develop and evaluate new concept of operations to support regulator required Human Factors Engineering Program Review Model (HFEPRM) activities. Modern simulator designs require more diverse and robust capabilities to serve the diverse needs of multiple user groups including researchers and educators. A common framework for evaluating features to support training, research, and education is critical to ensure future simulators enable research to support immediate and future plant modernization and advanced reactor deployment needs. An initial framework comprised of eight feature categories was developed by reviewing published simulator-based research and analyzing simulator features against research objectives and results (Gideon and Ulrich, 2022). A survey was administered to simulator users to evaluate the suitability of eight critical capabilities of a modified version of the framework to characterize and differentiate simulators across training, research, and education uses (n = 21). The results demonstrate the framework's effectiveness as a baseline for assessing the functionalities of simulators in line with their specific needs. Future work aims to validate the framework within a regulatory HFEPRM process to demonstrate its use as a tool to identify missing capabilities of existing simulators or to specify requirements for new simulators.

Keywords: simulator capabilities, simulator user groups, main control, room, nuclear power plant

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003574

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