Human and Organizational Factor Considerations at Nuclear Power Plants in Pakistan

Mehnaz ., Sami-ud-Din Ahmad


Recent events at Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station (NPS), the Chernobyl disaster and the Three Miles Island (TMI) accident revealed the importance of Human and Organizational Factors for the safe and reliable operation of Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs). At Fukushima Dai-ichi NPS, organizational levels of defense-in-depth were severely challenged. Inadequate human performance was later found to be the principal cause of the multiple events happened at Fukushima. Occurrence of nuclear accidents despite of continued technical improvements at the operational NPPs indicates that human judgment is imperfect and human error is the major cause of most of the accidents. The entire range of interactions of individuals with technology and organization plays key role in enhancing safety based on interdependency of organization and personnel. Therefore, it is necessary to identify human errors directly affecting safety and the way to eliminate or mitigate them, in order to achieve a high tolerance of human errors in the nuclear installation. In this context, post Fukushima assessments of NPPs in Pakistan were conducted to evaluate technical improvements made as well as human and organizational factors considered for avoiding recurrence of such accidents. This study provides an insight to  several improvements made to enhance human performance such as: more comfortable work environment;  more operators friendly Human-Machine Interface (HMI) in the Main Control Rooms (MCR); appropriate training imparted to workers; use of Full Scope Training Simulator (FSTS), training / re-training of MCR operators, enhanced ability of MCR operators to develop action plans and procedures in real-time during normal as well as accidental conditions; enhanced decision making competence of the plant management; refining design of Emergency Control Centers (ECC) considering human performance etc.


Human Factors, Organizational Factors, Human Machine Interface, NPPs, Nuclear Safety


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