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Procedure and information displays in advanced nuclear control rooms: Experimental evaluation of an integrated design.

Authors
  • Chen, Yue1
  • Gao, Qin1
  • Song, Fei2
  • Li, Zhizhong1
  • Wang, Yufan2
  • 1 a Department of Industrial Engineering , Tsinghua University , Beijing , China.
  • 2 b Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research & Design Ins , Shanghai , P.R. China.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Ergonomics
Publication Date
Jan 30, 2017
Pages
1–54
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/00140139.2017.1288929
PMID: 28135963
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

In the main control rooms of nuclear power plants, operators frequently have to switch between procedure displays and system information displays. In this study, we proposed an operation-unit-based integrated design, which combines the two displays to facilitate the synthesis of information. We grouped actions that complete a single goal into operation units and showed these operation units on the displays of system states. In addition, we used different levels of visual salience to highlight the current unit and provided a list of execution history records. A laboratory experiment, with 42 students performing a simulated procedure to deal with unexpected high pressurizer level, was conducted to compare this design against an action-based integrated design and the existing separated-displays design. The results indicate that our operation-unit-based integrated design yields the best performance in terms of time and completion rate and helped more participants to detect unexpected system failures. Practitioner Summary: In current nuclear control rooms operators frequently have to switch between procedure and system information displays. We developed an integrated design that incorporates procedure information into system displays. A laboratory study showed that the proposed design significantly improved participants' performance and increased the probability of detecting unexpected system failures.

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