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Technical Meeting on Modernization of Instrumentation and Control of Nuclear Power Plants Designed According to Earlier Standards: Safety Considerations

27 – 31 Mar 2023
Virtual event
Vienna, Austria
Event code: EVT2103182


The objective of the event is to provide a platform for Member States to exchange information on the state-of-the art knowledge and experience on modernization of I&C systems for NPPs, with specific focus on safety considerations, including opportunities for safety improvements, as well as safety challenges, including those related to licensing.

IAEA intends to develop a new publication (TECDOC) to compile the outcomes of the meeting. The scope and contents of the TECDOC will also be discussed during the meeting.


The event will address recent experiences in Member States in specific areas related to the modernization of I&C systems for NPPs, with focus on safety considerations. Topics to be covered will include, but not be limited to:

1. Lessons learned from modernization of I&C systems including human-system interfaces:

  • strategy to cope with the obsolescence of I&C systems and components;
  • safety benefits of I&C system modernization;
  • safety challenges in I&C system modernization projects;
  • licensing issues in I&C system modernization;
  • challenges related to the application of digital displays in main control rooms designed to earlier standards;
  • relation between I&C modernization and plant lifetime management; and
  • reverse engineering for the replacement of analogue components with digital components.

2. Development and application to I&C modernization projects, of regulations for digital I&C systems:

  • common cause failure concerns and mitigation strategies in I&C modernization; and
  • requirements for independence and redundancy in I&C modernizations.

3. Safety considerations of the application of digital technology (including artificial intelligence) to operating NPPs, including safety enhancements from the application of digital technology to operating NPPs and licensing issues.


The objective of the technical meeting is to allow member states to exchange information regarding their experience in the modernisation of instrumentation and control systems at nuclear power plants and other civil nuclear facilities.

The sharing of experience on this topic will facilitate the development of a new IAEA publication (TECDOC) that may be used by member states to inform their own modernisation activities and to learn lessons from previous projects.

The focus of the meeting will be the safety considerations associated with I&C modernisation projects where standards and expectations for acceptance have changed since the original plant design. These projects may range from major control and protection system upgrades and replacements to the use of new smart devices. Consequently, in addition to those topics identified on the event information sheet, the safety aspects of the following modernisation themes will be considered:

  • Requirements engineering and management
  • I&C safety function categorisation and I&C SSC classification
  • Overall I&C architecture (incl.)
    • Independence
    • Defence in depth and diversity
    • Redundancy
    • Deterministic behaviour
  • System level design and development (incl.)
    • Platform
    • Application
    • Tools
  • Installation, testing, commissioning and transition to operations
  • Equipment environmental qualification
  • Cyber and physical security
  • Human factors engineering
  • Provision and use of simulators for staff training
  • Management, oversight and governance
  • Safety case / justification
  • Self-testing and diagnostic functions to replace manual surveillance testing
  • Other safety considerations as identified by the participants

Target Audience

Participation is solicited from staff members of regulatory bodies, NPP operators, utility organizations, design and engineering consultant organizations, as well as from international organizations engaged in activities related to NPP safety and regulation. To ensure maximum effectiveness in the exchange of information, participants should be actively involved in the subject of the event.

The event is, in principle, open to all officially designated persons. The IAEA, however, reserves the right to restrict participation due to limitations imposed by the available facilities. It is, therefore, recommended that interested persons take the necessary steps for the official designation as early as possible.

Key deadlines

27 January 2023: Submission of abstracts via email to Scientific Secretary.

27 January 2023: Deadline for submission of the Participation Form (Form A) and if applicable Form for Submission of a Paper (Form B) and the Grant Application Form (Form C), to the competent national authority (e.g., Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Permanent Mission to the IAEA or National Atomic Energy Authority) or their organization for onward transmission to the IAEA

10 February 2023: Notification of acceptance of abstracts for oral presentations.

27–31 March 2023: Meeting dates.

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