Solid-state logic module approved by Sellafield Ltd

14 February 2013

Solid-state logic solver modules from Hima-Sella have secured approval from Sellafield Ltd for use in safety systems. Sellafield Ltd is the company responsible for safely delivering decommissioning, reprocessing and nuclear waste management activities on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in the UK.

This is a rigorous process, using the EMPHASIS Assessment methodology and included a Sellafield representative visiting HIMA in Germany where the Planar4 module was designed and manufactured.The Planar4 is a modular solid-state logic system, where each module within the system includes I/O and logic processing; interconnected using wiring techniques such as wire-wrap, solder or termipoint.

All non Software- or processor-based modules are being evaluated for Safety Integrity Level 2 (SIL 2) for use in the nuclear industry (up to SIL 4 for all other industries).

The software-based Planar4 modules have also been subjected to the EMPHASIS assessment methodology. These modules have only been evaluated as suitable for SIL 1 in accordance with current Sellafield requirements. However, they can be re-evaluated to SIL 2 if required by Sellafield performing an additional Independent Confidence building measure such as ‘software evaluation’.

The EMPHASIS assessment methodology was developed as part of an R&D project by the UK Control and Instrumentation Nuclear Industry Forum (CINIF) with inputs from the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR). It is considered to be the nuclear industry’s methodology for substantiation of SMART and Type ‘B’ devices.

The EMPHASIS assessment allows OEMs to claim and demonstrate compliance with the international functional safety standard IEC 61508 for nuclear application. Upon successful completion of the assessment, the OEM will be granted approval for its equipment to be used in nuclear safety applications.

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