Effects of digitalization of nuclear power plant control rooms on human reliability analysis: A review

Markus Porthin, Marja Liinasuo, Terhi Kling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The changes in the operating conditions of the main control room of nuclear power plants due to new digitalized human-system interfaces (HSIs) pose challenges to traditional human reliability analysis (HRA) methods. This paper reviews current knowledge about the effect of digital HSI on human behavior and reliability, relevant performance shaping factor (PSF) taxonomies as well as research on the effect of PSFs on human error probability estimates in advanced control rooms (ACRs). It cannot be generally concluded that either analog or digitalized control rooms would be always better than the other. ACRs have the potential to offer error reducing and supportive features to the user, but may also introduce increased complexity and interface management tasks as well as potentially error-prone team working practices. Some effects seem universal, but most depend on the specific design. The main PSF categories presented in HRA methods and international guidelines seem still relevant in ACRs. Quantitative empirical studies show that especially training and experience, availability and quality of procedures as well as task type or complexity are important factors. However, digitalization changes the way in which the PSFs should be defined and measured, and the effects of PSFs on the error estimates may be different.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106415
Number of pages13
JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Advanced control room
  • Digitalization
  • Human reliability analysis
  • Nuclear power plant
  • Performance shaping factor
  • Review


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