Halden Human Technology Organisation (HTO) Project
Joint project

              Halden Hammlab research facility for human factor research.

The 2021-2023 Halden HTO goal is advancing in the Human-Technology Organisation (HTO) field by working on aspects of human performance, reliability and organisation in various stages of the plant life, including during accident situations.

The 2021-2023 project’s research programme, which is coming to an end, consists of seven topics of prioritised Human Factors and Digital Systems Research for Existing and New Reactors. The research topics have been selected based on trends in the industry, the needs expressed by the Halden Board of Management in “Views on the long-term direction of the OECD Halden Reactor Project 2018-2027”, advice and recommendations given in HTO meetings and in direct discussions with Project members. The HTO research programme is focused on areas such as human-automation collaboration, digital systems for operation and maintenance, digital transformation of decommissioning and cybersecurity of the main control room, as well as Small Regular Reactors (SMRs) and design of new builds.

  • Topic 1 on Human Performance addresses five thematic areas:
    • Operator Performance in Digital Control Rooms (1.1)
    • Crew Factors, Teamwork and Role Independence in Control Rooms (1.2)
    • Decision Making under Uncertainty (1.3)
    • Event Investigations – the Added Perspective of Successes (1.4)
    • The Human Performance Data Repository (1.5)
  • Topic 2 on Digital I&C – Safety Assurance addresses two thematic areas:
    • Risk-Informed Safety Assurance (2.1)
    • Evidence Collection, Evaluation and Combination for Safety Assurance (2.2)
  • Topic 3 on Control Room Design and Evaluation addresses three thematic areas:
    • Augmented Reality for On-Site Control Room Assessment of Ergonomic and Regulatory Compliance (3.1)
    • Lessons Learned on Control Room Validation (3.2)
    • The Impact of Overview Displays on Human Performance (3.3)
  • Topic 4 on Human-Automation Collaboration addresses three thematic areas:
    • Human Performance in Operation of Small Modular Reactors (4.1)
    • Operator Performance in Highly Automated Plants (4.2)
    • Effects of Adaptive Automation on Operator Performance in Future Plants (4.3)
  • Topic 5 on Digital Systems for Operation and Maintenance addresses three thematic areas:
    • Advanced Condition-Based Maintenance using Digital Twins (5.1)
    • Advanced Condition Monitoring for Decision Support (5.2)
    • Safety Awareness in Outage Organisations (5.3)
  • Topic 6 on Digital Transformation of Decommissioning addresses three thematic areas:
    • Spatial Computing and Augmented Reality for Hazard Mapping and Visualisation (6.1)
    • Automated Assessment of Field Worker Performance using VR&AR-based Simulator Training (6.2)
    • Enabling Robotic and Remote Operations (6.3)
  • Topic 7 on Cybersecurity for Main Control Rooms addresses three thematic areas:
    • Digital Systems Architecture and Threat Landscape (7.1)
    • Incident Detection and Response using Simulation Modelling and Tools (7.2)
    • Human Behaviour during Incident Response (7.3)

There are 11 participating countries and 19 organisations, with 42 approved third parties, participating in this initiative. The total project budget is EUR 13.29 million. This project is financially managed by the NEA, with the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) acting as Operating Agent.

The Halden Human Technology Organisation (HTO) programme of work progressed well throughout 2023. Some of the key highlights in 2023 include: the new SMR simulator has been in active use, as has the other HTO-labs; licensed NPP crews were back in Halden HTO labs for data collections in February and in June; the Halden Programme Review Group (HPRG) meeting in May was organised physically in Idaho Falls ; an HTO workshop on “The role of simulators in supporting future operational concepts” was co-organized by Idaho National Laboratory, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Halden HTO Project; a successful summer school on SMRs brought together 86 participants from eleven different countries; the Halden HTO research programme will transfer project results from the 2021-2023 period to the NEA database after the non-disclosure period is over; the Operating Agent has conducted visits to a number of participating countries to discuss the next project cycle for 2024-2026; the status report for the first half of the year (January – June 2023) recorded 4 HTO reports, 4 articles in journals, and presented 5 papers at international conferences. An example of articles published in 2023 is the one published by the Operating Agent in the Safety Science journal on “Future needs of human reliability analysis: The interaction between new technology, crew roles and performance”.

From 25 to 28 September, the Enlarged Halden HTO Programme Review Group (EHPRG) held a meeting in Lillehammer, with a video option. This workshop featured 67 presentations and around 120 attendees from participating organisations, including Norway’s Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) and the NEA Secretariat. NEA Director-General William D. Magwood, IV gave in person the opening address to the meeting.

With regards to HTO research on small modular reactors (SMRs), the new SMR simulator was installed in IFE’s Halden Human-Machine Laboratory (HAMMLAB) and activities continued on examining scenarios and workload assessment methods for an empirical study.

The next 3-year period 2024-2026 Halden HTO agreement will be signed in January 2024. The project’s research programme will consist of eight topics of prioritised Human-Technology-Organisation research for existing and new reactors.


  • Canada – CNL (Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)
  • Canada – CNSC (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission)
  • Canada – COG (CANDU Owners Group)
  • China – SNERDI (Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute Co., Ltd.)
  • France – IRSN (Institut de Radioprotection et de Sureté Nucleaire)
  • Germany – Framatome GmbH
  • Germany – GRS (Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit GmbH)
  • Japan – CRIEPI (Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry)
  • Korea – KAERI (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)
  • Netherlands – NRG (Dutch Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group)
  • Norway – IFE (Institute for Energy Technology)
  • Sweden – SSM (Swedish Radiation Safety Authority)
  • Sweden – FKA (Forsmarks Kraftgrupp AB)
  • Sweden – OKG (OKG Aktiebolag)
  • Sweden – RAB (Ringhals AB)
  • UAE – FANR (Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation)
  • United Kingdom – NNL (National Nuclear Laboratory)
  • USA – DoE (Department of Energy)
  • USA – NRC (United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission)
  • USA – EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute)

Links of general interest


Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UAE, UK, USA

Project period

Current mandate: January 2021 - December 2023


EUR 13.29 million