I&C Platforms: Equipment Families

I&C Platforms: Equipment Families

Yuri Rozen (State Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety, Ukraine), Serhii Trubchaninov (State Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety, Ukraine) and Kostyantyn Gerasymenko (Severodonetsk Research and Production Association “Impulse”, Ukraine)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3277-5.ch015
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Abstract

This chapter contains information on the platforms (equipment families) that increasingly serve as basic tools in the development of instrumentation and control (I&C) systems for different applications, including nuclear power plants (NPPs). The advantages of the platforms are indicated, the stages of their design and development are shown, and major differences between the platforms belonging to different generations are addressed. The main characteristics and features of the modern platforms used in NPP automation are provided. The procedure for development and qualification of the platforms delivered to NPPs is discussed.
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Background

An I&C platform (equipment family) is a set of hardware and software components that may work co-operatively in one or more defined configurations (structures), designed to implement a series of specific instrumentation and/or control systems for various purposes whose number is not determined beforehand.

The design and use of a platform allows the hardware and software developed within the platform to be used instead of segmented products from different suppliers that are often not compatible with each other. This ensures high efficiency and required quality of activities through:

  • Functional, structural, and constructive completeness for the main application. The completeness of a platform is determined by the capability to create various I&C systems on its basis, whose functions, structure, design features, technical parameters, and characteristics can satisfy the requirements of a sufficiently wide number of specific customers (end users).

  • Informational, power, constructive, operational, and other types of compatibility. The compatibility of I&C platform components is determined by the coherence of their input and output signals, interfaces, power supply parameters, shapes and sizes (including basic, overall, and mounting dimensions with their maximum deviations), allowable working and limiting operating conditions, and other properties, allowing smooth exchange of information between the components, supply of electricity with required quality, mechanical combination, and protection against the adverse effects of temperature, humidity, radiation, and mechanical and other factors that may arise in normal conditions of use, operational occurrences, and accidents.

  • Software, metrological, guidance, informational, and other types of support.

The above peculiarities make it possible to design various I&C systems differing by the composition, structure, and technical characteristics on the basis of one and the same platform tailored to the customer (end user) requirements and, at the same time, ensure the well-targeted use of tools and effective activities in the design, programming, manufacturing, and operation of these systems. This approach allows the development, implementation, and safety justification of each particular system to be focused mainly on its applied functions, relying the implementation of basic functions on technical solutions adopted in developing and tested in applying the platform (nevertheless, the adoption of individual products or programs that are not part of a specific platform may be deemed to be reasonable in technically and economically feasible cases).

In addition to hardware and software directly oriented at the implementation of basic and applied functions, an I&C platform also includes service equipment, software, and documents that allow the user to minimize efforts in the design, integration, inspection, commissioning, maintenance and to avoid potential errors.

The importance of problems connected with platforms for NPP I&C systems is confirmed by the elaboration of a new special IEC document (IEC, 2019) devoted to these platforms.

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