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Self- control improvement simulator developed at SUNPP

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The STAR simulator intended for power plant staff to practice self-control skills has been created at South Ukraine NPP. The SUNPP Training Center specialists examined the experience of colleagues from Mochovce NPP (Slovakia) and Rivne NPP, evaluated their preliminary studies, and decided to develop the simulator on their own.

 «The concept of creating a STAR simulator is based on the understanding that the overwhelming majority of staff errors occur as a result of performing automatic routine actions, without an analysis. These are the so-called mistakes associated with a reduced level of concentration,» explained Kateryna Chereshnya, the head of the psychological and pedagogical support department at the SUNPP Training Center. «We expect that upon undertaking a course on the simulator the staff will improve its self-control skills and it will help to reduce the likelihood of making mistakes.»

While working with the simulator, psychologists will be able to develop a database of behavioral responses to various scenarios. Specialists of maintenance department jointly with colleagues from psychological and pedagogical support department managed to create a software product capable of reproducing a virtual control panel on an ordinary personal computer to perform training tasks related to the impact on various operating elements.

Vadym Hordiychuk, the software engineer of the SUNPP Training Center maintenance department, says: «Our simulator model is based on the WEB Interface, the control panel is shown on the screen. It looks like an instrument panel with a set of operating elements. There is also a checklist – a table with a list of actions predetermined by an instructor or psychologist. It is possible to make step-by-step notes in the checklist upon execution of each switch. This is exactly what facilitates self-assessment of actions performed along with development of self-control skills. Any visual control elements enabling to create a variety of scenarios may be added to the model.»

It is the International Inspectorate of the Nuclear Insurance Pool that recommended implementing the STAR simulator at SUNPP within the framework of the nuclear power plant specific actions program regarding safety culture formation and development.

In the short run, the developers plan to improve the project and establish software control over the duration of the scenarios. Currently, the control is carried out by a psychologist. In the future, it is also planned to add the change complexity degree function in order to test and train the power plant staff.