To date, the United States has few advanced control room facilities equipped with full scope plant simulators, and human performance monitoring systems for research and testing purposes. Our goal has been to design, develop, and construct an advanced control room research facility that would complement the existing capabilities of the industry and add research capacity to investigate all types of design and regulatory matters associated with advanced control rooms.
Such facilities are at this time invaluable in the US for input to the technical basis for regulatory guidance and assessment in areas such as alarm systems, control room design, display navigation, and human performance. In order to support this mission, the Center for Advanced Engineering Research (CAER) has designed a research facility that includes a configurable main control room, approximately 2,500 square feet in size, specifically to support NPP human factors, digital I&C, and cyber awareness research studies.
The heart of the CAER Research and Education Facility is the Nuclear Power Plant Main Control Room (NPP MCR) simulator room. The NPP MCR is operational since the 1st quarter of 2012 and currently undergoing initial testing. Some of the key features of the NPP MCR include:
a) Reconfigurable Modular Consoles
b) Simulator System Hardware and Interface Setup
c) The Human Factors Observation and Monitoring Gallery
d) Human Performance Measurement Systems
e) Integrated Instrumentation and Control Systems