Human factors and nuclear safety since 1970 – A critical review of the past, present and future
journal contributionposted on 26.10.2020, 10:28 authored by Robin Hamer, Patrick WatersonPatrick Waterson, Gyuchan Thomas JunGyuchan Thomas Jun
Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) has played an essential role in increasing the safety and performance of the nuclear energy industry. This review aims to critically examine past HFE research on nuclear safety and provide insights into how HFE approaches can better address current challenges for nuclear safety and future changes (e.g. new technologies, Industry 4.0 and increasing system complexity). The research questions this paper addresses are: (1) what are the common HFE themes and topics that have been applied to nuclear safety? (2) what are the new/key emerging areas/ideas for nuclear safety from an HFE perspective? We reviewed (n = 334) articles from six prominent HFE and safety-focused journals. Articles were classified into a systems framework where research themes and topics could be classified and explored. The findings from the review indicate the primary topics which the nuclear energy industry have focused on have not changed much over time (e.g. safety culture; human error; human-machine interaction) and likewise methods from the 1970s continue to attract attention (e.g. probabilistic risk assessment and human reliability assessment). However, the review demonstrated that more recent topics such as resilience engineering and ideas centred on the ‘Safety-II’ and ‘resilience engineering’ movement are beginning to appear. One of the main conclusions from the review is that there is a need for greater exploration and experimentation of new and emerging areas of interest and their practical implications within the nuclear energy industry.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
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