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EMPHASIS-qualified STA safety trip alarm gains momentum in UK nuclear-licensed facilities

19 August 2014

The STA Safety Trip Alarm from Moore Industries continues to gain adoption and usage in nuclear-licensed facilities in the United Kingdom. Having gone through an in-depth EMPHASIS assessment in 2012 by EDF Energy, the STA has received an integrity level of 10-3 (Probability of Failure on Demand) or SIL 2 capability for safety related applications. This remains the highest level available for “smart” devices that contain and are operated by software or firmware.

Applications for legacy upgrades, plant improvements and “resilience” programs are continuing to find new opportunities for the STA. Other products in the Moore Industries FS Functional Safety Series  including the SSX and SST family of signal isolators and the SRM safety relay are also being adopted in other industries for safety related applications.

The EMPHASIS method was developed by the UK nuclear industry through the Control & Instrumentation Nuclear Industries Forum working group to assess a device’s compliance with the IEC 61508 international functional safety standard, along with other requirements specifically relating to the UK nuclear energy industry. It provides confidence that the firmware or software in these devices meet the required good practice levels of design, testing and production to achieve the integrity levels needed for project applications and reduce the risk of systematic failures. 

Assessment by the EMPHASIS methodology ensures “Production Excellence” of the device by examining a series of criteria including the company, its core competencies, the tools and techniques used in the design and production of the product and the testing requirements.

The second “leg” of the approval process required by EDF Energy involves Independent Confidence Building Measures, where different and independent competent individuals or specialists use measurements and techniques such as Static Analysis or Statistical Testing to examine the device’s source code. This detailed analysis ensures that the product performs as claimed and designed. 

Receiving this rigorous qualification from EDF Energy with the STA Safety Trip Alarm reaffirms Moore Industries’ continued commitment to designing and building high quality and highly reliable instrumentation solutions for the nuclear and other industries where safety is paramount. 

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