Technical Working Group on Nuclear Power Plant
Instrumentation and Control (TWG-NPPIC)

The Technical Working Group on Nuclear Power Plant Instrumentation and Control (TWG–NPPIC) is a working group of Member States that operates within the framework of the IAEA Nuclear Energy Department. The role of the TWG–NPPIC is to assist the IAEA in identifying and initiating activities enabling organizations and personnel working with instrumentation and control (I&C) systems and human–system interfaces (HSI) to make the best use of the available and emerging technologies and to meet the plant operational and safety needs in an economic manner. In this mission, the TWG identifies and promotes activities that would assist I&C experts at nuclear utilities, licensing authorities, vendors and research organizations. Some examples of the functions of the TWG–NPPIC are:

  • To provide advice and guidance, and to marshal support in their countries for implementation of the Agency's programmatic activities in the area of design, implementation, licensing, operation, maintenance, and modernization of NPP I&C systems;

  • To provide a forum for information and knowledge sharing on national and international programmes development in the area of design, implementation, licensing, operation, maintenance, and modernization of NPP I&C systems;

  • To act as a link between the Agency’s activities in specific areas and national scientific communities, delivering information from and to national communities;

  • To provide advice on preparatory actions in Member States and the Agency’s activities in planning and implementing coordinated research projects, collaborative assessments, and other activities;

  • To develop and/or review selected documents from the Nuclear Energy Series and TECDOC series, assess existing gaps and advise on preparation of new publications;

  • To identify important topics for discussion at SAGNE and contribute to status reports, technical meetings and topical conferences in the field of NPP I&C systems and applications;

  • To encourage participation of young professionals, as appropriate, in Agency activities.

The TWG–NPPIC has a long history as one of the most active technical working groups of the IAEA. During its existence it has initiated, arranged, and supervised many symposia, specialist meetings and coordinated research projects. It has also been instrumental in the creation of various technical reports providing guidance for nuclear power plants, regulators and vendors within the I&C field. Through its network of members it has provided a stable planning platform for the activities as well as efficient channels of communication among I&C experts in the IAEA Member States. The presentation of national reports at the regular TWG meetings have provided an important basis for a discussion of needs for future IAEA activities within the I&C area. The TWG has participated actively in discussions on subjects for IAEA technical meetings and in sessions of international conferences and symposia.

The scope of work covers all phases of the life cycle of I&C systems from feasibility study and design to licensing, installation, commissioning, testing, operation, maintenance, aging management, modernization and decommissioning. The work thus not only covers technical details of the systems and equipment, but it also includes the processes by which they are to be developed, designed, licensed, qualified, installed, and maintained. Related areas, such as I&C aspects of reactor physics, human–system interface technologies, and human factors engineering also fall into the scope of work of the TWG–NPPIC. Some examples of the topics in the work program are:

  • Implementation, installation, and commissioning of I&C systems
  • Safety classification and qualification of I&C systems and components
  • Verification and validation of I&C systems
  • Security of digital I&C and computer systems
  • Use of regulatory guidance, codes, and standards
  • Nuclear I&C specification and design issues
  • Reliability and dependability assessment of hardware and software components
  • Common-cause failures of digital I&C systems
  • Instrumentation for normal and accident conditions, including severe accidents
  • Performance monitoring and optimization of processes, instrumentation, control and protection systems
  • Surveillance, diagnostics, and prognostic techniques and systems
  • Ageing, obsolescence and modernization of I&C systems
  • Human–system interface, including control room design
  • Computer technology for operator support systems
  • Automation versus manual controls
  • New nuclear I&C technologies (e.g. wireless communication, field programmable gate arrays)
  • I&C technologies for new reactors (e.g. small modular reactors and generation IV reactors)
  • Digital signal processing techniques and systems
  • Electrical power supplies
  • I&C aspects of engineering simulators, including severe accident conditions
  • Issues of maintenance and repair of I&C systems and components

Current Members of TWG-NPPIC

Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America

International Organizations: IEC–TC45

Past Observers: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Republic of South Africa, The Netherlands, United Arab Emirates.

Previous Meetings

The Terms of Reference of the TWG-NPPIC was revised and issued in 2015: Terms of Reference.

The history of the TWG is summarized here:TWG History

Please contact Instrumentation and Control - Contact Point if you have any questions