Keywords: instrumentation and control, nuclear power plants, NPP, nuclear energy, advanced PWRs, pressurised water reactors, boiling reactors, electronics, information technology, digital systems, nuclear safety
Instrumentation and controls architectures in new NPPs
Instrumentation and control systems are the nervous system of a nuclear power plant. They monitor all aspects of the plant's health and help respond with the care and adjustments needed. Progress in electronics and information technology has created incentives to replace traditional analogue instrumentation and control 'I&C' systems in nuclear power plants with digital I&C systems. Digital I&C systems have posed new challenges for the industry and regulators, who have had to build up the methods, data and experience to assure themselves that the new systems meet all reliability and performance requirements. The research described in this article does not provide guidance on how to determine the need for diversity in a safety system to mitigate the consequences of potential instrumentation and control failures. Succinctly, the purpose of the research described in this present paper was to identify and compare the developed diversity of the architecture instrumentation and control in two different kinds of plants.