Systems Engineering possibilities in Nuclear Industry

Speaker: Kristiina Söderholm, Ph.D
Venue: Helsinki (May 23rd 2014)

Systems Engineering (SE) is not widely known in nuclear industry, however requirements management is getting bigger role all the time and it is already included in regulatory requirements in Finland.

New nuclear power plant projects are massive and have been very challenging in past years. One reason for the delayed projects is the nuclear licensing. Licensing is a process demonstrates that the use of nuclear power is safe and it is regulated by national and international law and regulations.

Nuclear licensing is very challenging partly because it includes a large number of requirements and long subcontracting chains.
Internationally nuclear field talks about management systems, quality assurance and configuration management, which can all be included under the SE umbrella. In instrumentation and control (I&C) discipline the requirements-based approach, including developed validation and verification (V&V) processes, has been developed and used for many years. This kind of approach should be widen to other disciplines as well in the future.

One suggestion for further development in international arena could be a requirements database development of selected international guides. This kind of requirements database, with common tools would support nuclear licensing, as well as harmonization of the requirements internationally. Effective use SE practices and tools would make a big difference in nuclear industry and especially licensing, which is one of the main challenges in nuclear power plant projects.

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