• Mar 29, 2018

Human Factors and Nuclear Decommissioning

Canary Ergonomics has supported Magnox and Sellafield Limited with Nuclear Decommissioning Projects in the UK. Due to the sensitive nature of the work it is not possible to share technical reports however it is possible to provide you with an over view of the services that Canary Ergonomics provides to the Nuclear Decommissioning Industry.

Human Factors Integration

Canary Ergonomics are experienced at producing Human Factors Integration Plans required by the Office of Nuclear Regulation to provide evidence of Human Factors Engineering input during the nuclear decommssioning projects lifecycle. We generally take 3 - 5 days to produce a plan that contains a technical program and the management arrangements. The plan is agreed with the Chief engineer and Lead designer(s) before being submitted to the primary client for approval. The plan provides the project with a set of Human Factors deliverables and Tasks that can be integrated into the overall project schedule.

Physical Ergonomics

Canary Ergonomics has the capability to directly assess 3-D models using digital human manikins to determine whether or not the end users can physically complete their designated tasks. We also provide design solutions when a design issue has been identified. 

We typically conduct a high level task analysis for construction, operations, maintenance, and recovery tasks. We then develop a set of Human Factors requirements for the defined target audience (i.e. prescriptive and goal-orientated requirements are developed). The upper and lower limit of the target audience are modelled using the anthropometric data supplied. We then set up a virtual user trial and run through the identified tasks whilst keeping the human factors requirements in mind. If a requirement is non-compliant, we will record an issue and provide a potential solution to the design team. 

We have provided this service to magnox in the design and development of the FED retrieval, Dissolution, ADAP, AVDS, ILW Resin Retrieval facilities at Bradwell. The design and development of the ILW Resin Retrieval Facility at Dungeness and the SSG Fill house project for the ILW Waste Programme. 

Cognitive Ergonomics

Canary Ergonomics has the experience and expertise to assess the role of the end users within the defined system of work. We sit down the program managers to identify the objectives and performance specifications for the designed system of work. We then start to map out the entire system in terms of the functional steps (i.e. Focus on the What rather than the how). As part of a joint review with the design team, the concept design is developed and the focus turns to how the functions are performed and by who (i.e. either machine or human or both). It is now possible to identify the Allocation of Function and define the Human Factors Requirements for the end-user to successfully perform their allocated role in the system. 

This is typically tasks such as pre-work inspections, start-up, control and monitor, shut-down and post work inspections. We perform a high level task analysis to identify the tasks and then assess the user interfaces of the design against the Human Factors Requirements identified (i.e. Tank level too High, end-user requires feedback that is a real time indication of plant status and thus able to maintain full situational awareness at all times). 

We have assessed the role of the end users for Magnox ILW projects and the Sellafield BEP project. We specifically assessed normal operations, safety shutdown system and the alarm management designs.

Organisational Ergonomics

Canary Ergonomics has over 16 years experience of asessing the entire organisation and to measure its functionality. We engage with the organisation by providing onsite support to the project team and the end-users. We help to manage the transition between the project team and the hand-over to the operations teams. This is typically done by reviewing the project documents, Factory Acceptance Test data and by interviewing both the project team members and the end-users. 

We then provide both parties with a unilateral vision of the key process steps, the organisational structure, personnel competency targets (i.e.the industrial and radiological safety hazards / controls and mitigations). Our analysis also includes time motion, operability and usability reviews. We assess the usability of supporting guidance and training material. If we identify defficiencies with the usability of support material, we provide solutions and often end up producing the revised templates. 

Canary Ergonomics focus is on ensuring that we enable the organisation and its end-users to continue the development of the system of work by providing a clear organisational structure, defined job roles, tasks and usable supporting material. 

We have provided support to Magnox Bradwell and Dungeness sites. The procedure guidance document design for the AVDS project was independently assessed by the ONR and approved for use at the Bradwell and Dungeness sites.


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