Alarm annunciators from Omniflex are at work at several UK-based nuclear facilities, and are key components in nuclear safety systems.
Safety is a critical issue in the nuclear industry. In accordance with the requirements of the UK Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, every nuclear site licensee in the UK must justify their safety case in order to operate in the UK, which also involves substantiating the safety certification of each instrument involved.
With the increasing reliance on ‘SMART’ instruments in safety systems, the problem of substantiating the software in these instruments has been a concern of the NII for a number of years. The Emphasis tool was developed to assist nuclear site operators to achieve a common level of substantiation whilst eliminating duplication of effort.
Alarm annunciators are considered vital tools in modern safety systems because they provide an additional layer of protection in the safety strategy on the plant.
The Omni8/16C range of alarm annunciators from Omniflex has been in use at Sellafield Limited as well as a number of major UK nuclear facilities for many years and was among the first annunciators to be assessed by Emphasis.
Based on the success of the Omni8/16C alarm annunciators and in order to utilise all the features available within the products, Omniflex decided to expand the range covered by Emphasis.
All the annunciators within the Omniflex range that have been assessed use the same technology and firmware version as in the Omni8/16C. This has allowed Omniflex to re-package the boards into custom built housings and offer direct replacement annunciators for older 3rd party manufacturers units such as the Rochester UC30 and MPAS90 alarm annunciators, allowing older annunciators to be replaced by Emphasis approved annunciators.
Additional features of the Omniflex annunciator range have also been approved by Emphasis, allowing for the addition of serial interface boards for repeating of alarms typically into SCADA or DCS as well as soft-set mode, which is used for more advanced alarm annunciator functionality, providing total flexibility in configuration.