Tecnatom has extensive experience in the area of Human Factors Engineering (HFE), in which it has undertaken a wide variety of projects on an international level in recent years. This makes the company a leader in working with the most important international agencies in the sector on a worldwide level on things such as the dissemination, and improvement of methodologies, standards, and guides that help to better development of nuclear energy in a peaceful, efficient, and safe way.
Some of the entities Tecnatom has collaborated with include:
- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose aim is to foster the exchange of scientific and technical information for the peaceful use of atomic energy.
- The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), which is an organization that works under the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to likewise promote nuclear cooperation on a variety of research and development projects.
- The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which is in charge of developing worldwide standards related with nuclear energy.
Cooperation with the IAEA
Tecnatom’s work with the IAEA includes participation in the following developments:
- A safety guide for the application of HFE to nuclear power plant design. After an extensive review process by the membercompanies, this guide will soon be published. This is the first guide of its kind drafted by the IAEA.
- A guide on HFE aspects for designing instrumentation and control systems. At the end of 2018, Tecnatom was the host of an international meeting of experts to review the guide being prepared, which will be published soon.
- Course on HFE at the Cernavodă Nuclear Power Plant in Romania.
Cooperation with the NEA/OECD
Examples of cooperation between the NEA and Tecnatom include:
- Participation in the Halden Reactor Project in Norway, which undertakes research projects on Man-Technology-Organization and HFE.
- Cooperation with the Working Group on Human and Organizational Factors (WGHOF) in relationship with the drafting of HFE validation requirements. This cooperative effort was ongoing thanks to multi-stage validation. This group was led by some of the most important agencies in the world such as the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
Cooperation with the IEC
A final example of Tecnatom’s cooperation with different agencies is its participation in regular IEC meetings where the HFE standards that are applicable to the nuclear industry are reviewed and updated. Specific examples include:
- Update of the standard on control room design, led by Tecnatom.
- Drafting of a new standard that was published in April of 2019 to obtain a HFE program that would allow for projects to be directed or led towards the modernization of control centers at nuclear facilities.
The benefits of all of these cooperative efforts are numerous, but one particular benefit is that of shared experiences to help with setting and standardizing HFE methodology so as to allow for its application to control center and interface design improvement on an ongoing basis.