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This is the second edition of CSA N290.12, Human factors in design for nuclear power plants . It supersedes the previous edition published in 2014.  Changes to this edition include the following:  a) update of requirements to ensure alignment with other recently issued CSA standards and regulatory documents;  b) update of definitions for alignment with CSA common definitions and other CSA N290A series standards;  c) addition of clause titles throughout and descriptive text for Figure A.1 to improve application, accessibility, and usability;  d) addition of a new Clause 4 on management, graded approach, and design input;  e) addition of subclauses in Clause 5 related to planning;  f) split of first subclause of Clause 9 on evaluation and Annex C on evaluation; and  g) addition of the recommendation for establishing human factors (HF) design inputs in Clause 7.2.2 a) and in Annex A as an added bar.  This Standard provides the basic framework for considerations of HF in design in nuclear power plants. It establishes an industry consensus on appropriate HF in design planning for plant modifications and new plant designs.  The CSA N-Series of Standards provide an interlinked set of requirements for the management of nuclear facilities and activities. CSA N286 provides overall direction to management to develop and implement sound management practices and controls, while the other CSA nuclear Standards provide technical requirements and guidance that support the management system. This Standard works in harmony with CSA N286 and does not duplicate the generic requirements of CSA N286; however, it may provide more specific direction for those requirements.  This Standard reflects the operating experience of the Canadian nuclear power industry.  Users of this Standard are reminded that the design, manufacture, construction, commissioning, operation, and decommissioning of nuclear facilities in Canada are subject to the provisions of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and its supporting Regulations. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission might impose additional requirements to those specified in this Standard.  This Standard was prepared by the Subcommittee on Human Factors in Design for Nuclear Power Plants, under the jurisdiction of the Technical Committee on Reactor Control Systems, Safety Systems, and Instrumentation of Nuclear Power Plants and the Strategic Steering Committee on Nuclear Standards, and has been formally approved by the Technical Committee. 


1.1 Inclusions 

This Standard covers HF in design for existing and new NPPs. Notes:  1) This Standard applies to new designs or modifications, large and small, temporary and permanent, to internally and externally engineered solutions, and to commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products. 2) Some SSCs might not require any HF in design activities and can be excluded from the scope as per the graded approach in Clause 4.2. 3) This Standard may provide guidance for nuclear facilities other than NPPs, using a graded approach. 

1.2 Lifecycle phases and plant activities 

This Standard covers HF in design activities related to site preparation, construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance, inspection, testing, and decommissioning. 

1.3 Applicable plant states 

This Standard applies to HF in design for the following plant states: a) normal operation; b) anticipated operational occurrences (AOOs);  c) design basis accidents (DBAs); and  d) design extension conditions (DEC) as a subset of beyond design basis accidents (BDBAs).  

1.4 Application of HF in design  

HF in design applies to the entire system design, including human-system interfaces (HSIs).  Note: Examples include the design of plant layouts, control areas, panels, annunciation, communication systems, displays, and field equipment.  

1.5 Extent of HF in design  

HF in design includes and extends beyond nuclear systems of nuclear power plants (NPPs).  Note: Examples include balance of plant, fuel handling, engineered tooling, waste management systems, offsite emergency centre, and emergency equipment.  

1.6 Terminology  

In this Standard, “shall” is used to express a requirement, i.e., a provision that the user is obliged to satisfy in order to comply with the standard; “should” is used to express a recommendation or that which is advised but not required; and “may” is used to express an option or that which is permissible within the limits of the Standard.  Notes accompanying clauses do not include requirements or alternative requirements; the purpose of a note accompanying a clause is to separate from the text explanatory or informative material.  Notes to tables and figures are considered part of the table or figure and may be written as requirements.  Annexes are designated normative (mandatory) or informative (non-mandatory) to define their application.


Document History

  1. CSA N290.12:23

    👀 currently

    Human factors in design for nuclear power plants

    • Most Recent
  2. CSA N290.12-14 (R2019)

    Human factors in design for nuclear power plants

    • Historical Version