Keywords: safety critical system, context diagram, three port isolator, water fall model, configuration management, formal method, nuclear power, nuclear energy, safety critical instrumentation, nuclear safety, instrumentation design, fault tolerant architectures, software quality assurance, QA, embedded systems, online diagnostics
Design aspects of safety critical instrumentation of nuclear installations
Safety critical instrumentation systems ensure safe shutdown/configuration of the nuclear installation when process status exceeds the safety threshold limits. Design requirements for safety critical instrumentation such as functional and electrical independence, fail-safe design, and architecture to ensure the specified unsafe failure rate and safe failure rate, human machine interface (HMI), etc., are explained with examples. Different fault tolerant architectures like 1/2, 2/2, 2/3 hot stand-by are compared for safety critical instrumentation. For embedded systems, software quality assurance is detailed both during design phase and O&M phase. Different software development models such as waterfall model and spiral model are explained with examples. The error distribution in embedded system is detailed. The usage of formal method is outlined to reduce the specification error. The guidelines for coding of application software are outlined. The interface problems of safety critical instrumentation with sensors, actuators, other computer systems, etc., are detailed with examples. Testability and maintainability shall be taken into account during design phase. Online diagnostics for safety critical instrumentation is detailed with examples. Salient details of design guides from Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, International Atomic Energy Agency and standards from IEEE, BIS are given towards the design of safety critical instrumentation systems.