Nuclear Power Engineering

Instrumentation and Control Technologies

IAEA Independent Review Missions of NPP I&C Systems (IERICS Missions)


The first IERICS review mission was performed in February 2010 in Yongin-si, Republic of Korea at the request of the Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Company. The subject of the review was the prototype version of Doosan's advanced I&C system designed for the APR-1400 NPPs. This system is developed based on the results of a seven-year R&D project titled Korea Nuclear Instrumentation and Control System (KNICS, 2001-2008). The KNICS project team included participants from Doosan, KAERI, KEPCO, KERI, POSCON, and Woori Tec.

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Yongin-si, Republic of Korea, February 1-6, 2010

In order to demonstrate the suitability of this system in terms of performance, operability and reliability, Doosan established an "Integrated Performance Validation Facility" for further system development and testing. Doosan's goal was that the mission would provide them with a basis for improving the acceptance and reliability of the I&C system by implementing the recommendations and findings of the mission and also would assist in meeting the requirements of the on-going Shin-Ulchin Units 1 and 2 design project. It was also expected that the report would assist in developing a firm design basis for projects in the domestic and international markets.


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Kirovograd, Ukraine, December 5-10, 2010

The second IERICS review mission was performed in December 2010 in Kirovograd, Ukraine, on the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based safety I&C platform and systems developed by the Research and Production Corporation (RPC) Radiy for nuclear power plants. RPC Radiy completed the development of its FPGA-based digital platform in 2002 which was designed for building I&C systems for reactor protection, control, and monitoring functions in NPPs. These digital systems, which were used in I&C modernization projects of operating NPPs, can also be integrated into new NPP designs.

The company has already completed the successful installation of these systems in more than fifty modernization projects in a total of five operating NPP sites in the Ukraine and Bulgaria. The systems included:

  • Main and Secondary (diverse) Reactor Trip System (RTS)
  • Engineered Safety Feature Actuation Systems (ESFAS)
  • Reactor Regulating and Power Limitation System (RPCLS)
  • Reactor Rod Control Systems

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Moscow / Novovoronezh, Russia, December 6-15, 2012

The third IERICS review mission was performed in December 2012 in Moscow, Russia, on the VNIIAES computerized process control system for AES-2006 (VVER-1200) NPPs. The VNIIAES I&C platform is intended to perform safety and safety-related, as well as normal operational functions in NPPs. The system mainly applies microprocessor-based technology for signal processing, logic, and self-diagnostic functions.

VNIIAES has already achieved a successful implementation of parts of the system or its subsystems in several NPP applications. In order to demonstrate the suitability of this system, VNIIAES established different test and performance validation facilities, which also constituted parts of the review. The review areas covered:

  • Systems important to safety (e.g. reactor shutdown system, engineered safety features actuation system, reactor instrumentation, control and diagnostics system);
  • Reactor control systems for continuous normal operation;
  • The computer-based platforms for the above systems;
  • The upper level control system including the human-system interface of the main and emergency control rooms.

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Severodonetsk, Ukraine, April 21-27, 2013

The fourth IERICS mission was implemented in Severodonetsk, Ukraine in April 2013 at the SRPA "Impulse" organization. The subject of the review was the digital computer I&C system (MSKU 3M) important for NPPs' safety, designed using standard technical solutions by SRPA "Impulse".



The scope of the review included:

  • Safety control system
    • Engineering safety features actuation system (ESFAS)
    • Support features systems
  • Normal operation control systems for NSSS
    • NSSS process control system
    • NSSS closed loop control systems and the associated human system interfaces
  • Both H/W and S/W platforms were evaluated

The MSKU 3M I&C platform is intended to perform safety and safety-related, as well as normal operational functions in NPPs. The system mainly applies microprocessor-based technology for signal processing, logic, and self-diagnostic functions. SRPA "Impulse" completed the development of the system in 2011. They have already successfully implemented large parts of the system in the Zaporizhzhya NPP in Ukraine.

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Beijing, China, April 18-25, 2016.

The fifth IERICS mission was conducted in Beijing, China in April 2016 at China Techenergy (CTEC). The subject of the review was their “FirmSys” Nuclear Safety I&C Platform and System. CTEC designed and developed the first version of FirmSys in 2010 and then improved the design in subsequent versions. FirmSys is a general platform for nuclear safety-class digital control and protection system applications for nuclear power plants. CTEC has implemented it in the modernization and upgrading of existing nuclear power plants and in new NPP designs. The objective of the mission was to provide CTEC with a basis for improving the technical design, safety features and reliability of the FirmSys system by implementing the recommendations and suggestions of the mission.

The scope of the review included:

  • FirmSys Platform V1.1:
    • Main control station;
    • Communication means and networks;
    • Safety control information display;
    • Engineering station;
    • Gateways.
  • Both the hardware and software platforms were evaluated.
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Beijing, China, 14 to 19 November 2016

The sixth IERICS mission was performed at China Nuclear Control System Engineering Co., Ltd. (CNCS) in Beijing, China in November 2016. CNCS specializes in providing end-to-end full life-cycle service for DCS systems for nuclear power plants, including product development, engineering design, system integration and technical service.

Since 2012, CNCS has focused on the nuclear safety class digital control and protection system – NicSys®8000N – a general system platform for control and protection, which will be used as protection systems and safety-related control systems in nuclear power plants. The NicSys®8000N platform is based on FPGA technology and it consists of standardized circuit boards and configuration files for FPGAs, CPLDs and CPUs. With multiple functions, such as I/O, logic calculation, diagnosis, information display, priority management, etc., the NicSys®8000N platform is capable of implementing the typical application functions such as reactor trip, engineered safety features control, post-accident monitoring and reactor core monitoring.

The following subjects were requested by CNCS to be reviewed:

  • The NicSys®8000N FPGA-based controller;
  • Engineering work station;
  • S-VDU device including the HMI interface;
  • Both the hardware and software platforms were evaluated.

The conclusions, recommendations, suggestions, comments and good practices were presented and agreed upon with the counterparts at the end of the missions and were documented in the final mission reports.

In all six IERICS missions, the IAEA review teams confirmed that extensive engineering work of high quality had been performed to develop the advanced I&C systems, and in general the reviewed areas met the requirements of the relevant sections of the IAEA Safety Guide NS-G-1.3 (for the first four missions) and SSG-39 (starting from the fifth mission). Specific issues, identified as areas for further improvement, were listed in the issue sheets of the mission reports, as suggestions and recommendations. Good practices were also identified, serving as commendable engineering examples for other NPP I&C system design projects.



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