The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) proposes to award a sole source contract to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under the authority of FAR 6.302-1 (b)(1), for the acquisition of services focusing on the roles of automation and personnel in nuclear reactors and on human-system-interface (HSI) complexity and opacity, conducted in the MIT Human and Automation Laboratory (HAL).

The objective is to develop assessment methods & tools to evaluate the safety aspects of human performance in advanced reactors. The main tasks of the automation topic include developing assessment metrics of human-automation interactions and conducting experimental simulations to elucidate the relations between assessment and its safety implications. The main tasks of the complexity topic include developing guidelines and methods of managing complexity in NPP control rooms, as well as conducting simulation experiments to elucidate the relations between the assessed complexity and its impacts on the safety aspects of human performance. Such experiments require the infrastructure of simulating human-system interfaces in NPP control rooms such as alarm systems, control & operating support systems, information systems, and computerized procedures. The experiments also require capabilities of integrating and reconfigurating the simulated systems, developing and implementing scenarios, as well as collecting and analyzing human performance data. The HAL is the only organization in US to have been equipped with the necessary infrastructure (i.e., reconfigurable supervisory control stations, scenario generation software for control systems, etc) and also to have demonstrated the capabilities of developing and testing human factors assessment tools for complex systems through the approach required for this project. Using the existing infrastructure and capabilities can reduce the cost of the proposed research. To build such infrastructure already developed by HAL, and expertise to operate it for experimental purposes is very expensive and time consuming. Through performing various human-automation projects, the HAL has developed software for scenario generation, data collection and analysis, and administration of human performance measurements. That software has been continuously validated and enhanced through experiments.

The period of performance for this effort is 2 years. This noticed is prepared under the authority of FAR Parts 15 and 6.302-1 (b)(1).

This notice of intent is not a request for competitive proposals and no solicitation package is available. However, firms that believe that they can provide services that fully meet the Government’s requirements may submit substantiating documentation within 15 days after publication of this synopsis by emailing their capability statement to Sheila.Bumpass@NRC.GOV. Oral communications are not acceptable in response to this notice. Such documentation will be evaluated solely for the purpose of determining whether or not to conduct this procurement on a competitive basis. A determination by the Government not to conduct a competitive procurement, based upon responses to this notice, is solely within the discretion of the Government.

Solicitation Number: NRC-04-09-151