SoTeRiA Laboratory receives NRC grant to advance digital twins for risk-informed regulation of existing plants and advanced reactors

12/14/2022

NPRE News

SoTeRiA Laboratory receives NRC grant to advance digital twins for risk-informed regulation of existing plants and advanced reactors

The Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) Research Laboratory has received a grant (2022-2025) from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for “Integrated Modeling of Human Interactions with Hardware and Software in Digital Twins to Support Risk-Informed Regulation for Existing Plants and Advanced Reactors.”

A digital twin is a virtual model designed to accurately reflect a physical object. The object being studied is outfitted with various sensors related to vital areas of functionality. These sensors produce data about different aspects of the physical object’s performance, such as energy output, temperature, weather conditions and more. This data is then relayed to a processing system and applied to the digital copy. 

NPRE Associate Professor Zahra Mohaghegh serves as the Principal Investigator (PI) of this project, while NPRE Professor Rizwan Uddin, NPRE Senior Research Scientist Seyed Reihani, NPRE Research Scientist Pegah Farshadmanesh, and NPRE Research Associate Ernie Kee are the Co-PIs. 

This project will develop first-of-its-kind methodologies for (a) modeling human interactions with digital twins (DTs) in nuclear power plants (NPPs) and (b) quantifying the safety risk impact of the human-DT interactions by integrating the coupled human-DT model with the Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) of NPPs to support Risk-Informed Regulation for DT applications at existing plants and advanced reactors.

The SoTeRiA Research Laboratory has made scholarly contributions to the science of Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA), which is one of the key pillars in the risk-informed decision-making framework of the NRC.  SoTeRiA has a proven track record of bridging scientific risk analysis research with industry and regulatory challenges. In addition to this NRC grant, SoTeRiA research has received funding from several national and international sponsors: https://soteria.npre.illinois.edu/research/ 

The results of the SoTeRiA research projects have been published in journal and conference papers as well as national and international reports: https://soteria.npre.illinois.edu/publications/