Halden Human Technology Organisation (HTO) Project
Joint project

              Halden Hammlab research facility for human factor research.

The NEA Halden HTO Project is a continuation of Man-Technology-Organisation (MTO) research carried out for more than 40 years as part of the OECD Halden Reactor Project (HRP). The first period of the Halden HTO Project was 2021-2023. The 2024-2026 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 design, modernisation, operation, especially during accident situations, as well as decommissioning. This programme also includes research on SMRs with the prism of human and organisational performance.

The 2024-2026 project’s research programme consists of seven topics of prioritised Human Factors and Digital Systems Research for Existing and New Reactors including SMRs. The research topics have been selected based on trends in the industry, the needs expressed by the Halden Board of Management, 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, control room design and evaluation, digital systems for operation and maintenance, sustainable decommissioning, as well as cyber security for main control rooms.

Topic 1 on Human Performance addresses four thematic areas:

  • Cognitive failure modes in digital control rooms (1.1)
  • Crew dynamics and cognitive dependency in digital control rooms (1.2)
  • Decision making under uncertainty with decision aids (1.3)
  • Learning from success and failure to understand event recurrence (1.4)

Topic 2 on Digital I&C – Safety Assurance addresses three thematic areas:

  • State-of-the-art to assure safety of digital systems (2.1)
  • Addressing safety assurance through use-cases (2.2)
  • State-of-the-art in hazard analysis (2.3)

Topic 3 on Control Room Eesign and Evaluation addresses five thematic areas:

  • Human factors validation of new designs (3.1)
  • The assessment of situation awareness for modern plant designs (3.2)
  • The use of overview displays (3.3)
  • Display designs supporting multi-unit supervision (3.4)
  • Virtual reality use-cases for NPP control room operator training and early system validation (3.5)

Topic 4 on Human-Automation Collaboration and Multi-Unit Operation addresses five thematic areas:

  • Human performance challenges in operation of SMRs (4.1)
  • Work design in advanced reactors (4.2)
  • Operator performance in highly automated plants (4.3)
  • Co-operating with adaptive procedures (4.4)
  • HRA for advanced reactors (4.5)

Topic 5 on Digital Systems for Operation and Maintenance addresses three thematic areas:

  • Effects of adopting digital twins for operational support (5.1)
  • Maintenance optimisation for nuclear power plants (5.2)
  • Fostering a safety culture in outage organisations (5.3)

Topic 6 on Sustainable Decommissioning and Asset Lifecycle Management addresses two thematic areas:

  • Aholistic digital approach to safety at legacy and decommissioning sites (6.1)
  • Impact of AI, data and robotics on regulatory acceptance (6.2)

Topic 7 on Cybersecurity for Main Control Rooms addresses three thematic areas:

  • Cybersecurity of black-box solutions and technology (7.1)
  • Distinguishing attacks and faults to support effective response (7.2)
  • Cyber situational awareness (7.3)

12 participating countries and 19 organisations, with 47 approved third parties, participate in this initiative. The total project budget is EUR 14.58 million. This project is financially managed by the NEA, with the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) acting as Operating Agent.

For the 2021-2023 period, 72 reports were issued and HTO staff members presented 57 papers at international conferences, and 23 journal articles and book chapters were printed in the same period. Data collections were done in various ways in different topics of the programme. A main data source though is licensed crews working in the simulator laboratory HAMMLAB, the Halden human-Machine LABoratory. There was one crew in 2022 and seven crews in 2023 participating in studies. In addition, data at training simulators at nuclear power plants with three crews were collected.

From 25 to 28 September 2023, the Enlarged Halden HTO Programme Review Group (EHPRG) held a meeting in Lillehammer. This workshop featured 67 presentations and gathered around 120 attendees from participating organisations, including Norway’s Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) and the NEA Secretariat.

A report summarising the accomplishments of the Halden HTO research programme during 2021-2023 and addressing the most important achievements of the programme will be presented at the CSNI in June 2024 and then published by the NEA.


  • Canada – CNSC (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission)
  • Canada – COG (CANDU Owners Group)
  • China – SNERDI (Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute Co., Ltd.)
  • Czechia – UJV Rez (Ustav Jaderneho Vyskumu Rez)
  • Germany – Framatome GmbH
  • Germany – GRS (Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit GmbH)
  • Japan – CRIEPI (Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry)
  • Japan – NRA (Nuclear Regulation Authority)
  • 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)
  • United Arab Emirates – FANR (Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation)
  • United Kingdom – NNL (National Nuclear Laboratory)
  • United States – DoE (Department of Energy)
  • United States – NRC (United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission)
  • United States – EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute)

Links of general interest


Canada, China, Czechia, Germany, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States

Project period

Current mandate: January 2024 - December 2026


EUR 14.58 million