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Perspective to make nuclear power plants more resilient
1.   Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, 3-1-1 Tsushima-Naka, Kita-ku, Okayama700-8530, Japan (
Abstract: By the impact of Fukushima Daiichi NPP (Nuclear Power Plant) accident, there are many critiques to nuclear power generation, especially in Japan. In order to respond the criticism, a great increase of the safety of NPPs is inevitable. Of course, extensive studies and developments have been conducted to increase the safety of NPPs. Almost all the studies and developments are to increase the resistance of an NPP according to the concept of defense in depth to prepare supposed abnormal events. However, it is impossible to suppose all situations and their combinations that may happen in the operation of an NPP. Therefore, a new approach should be developed and added to increase the safety of NPPs covering the hardware systems, staff organization, human-machine interfaces, operation procedures, and education and training of both operators and plant staffs. Recently, the concept of resilience engineering (RE) is becoming popular to prepare and respond an abnormal situation, especially in the fields of safety critical systems and health care. The concept does not exclude the previous approaches to increase the safety of a system but add a new viewpoint for system safety. The characteristic features of RE are expressed by the words of ‘Safety II’ and ‘Work As Done’ although researchers are dealing with the topics on how to apply RE in a real complex system and organization. This article first introduces resilient responsive actions of operators and plant staffs to protect a more catastrophic situation in the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Then, the concept of RE and its possibility to increase the safety of NPPs are introduced. The authors are now studying several works to develop techniques based on functional models to enable operators take resilient responsive actions in the operation of NPPs. They are an interface system to display useful information for operators in a computer-based procedure and a technique to generate plausible operation procedures in an accidental situation. The approach and current results of the latter work are also introduced.
Keyword: safety of nuclear power plants; resilience engineering; education and training 
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