Draft Details

Designation:CSA N290.14
Contact name:Eve Stencel
Review start date:Sep 1, 2023
Review end date:Oct 31, 2023
Contact email:thuy.ton(at)csagroup.org
Draft Scope/Description:

1.1 Application

This Standard defines requirements for the process of qualification of digital hardware and software for use in instrumentation and control applications for NPPs.


This Standard applies to individual safety-related programmable digital devices containing software or programmable logic (e.g., devices such as application-specific integrated circuit (ASICs), complex programmable logic device (CPLD), and field-programmable gate array (FPGAs)). This can be in any plant system.

This Standard may provide guidance for nuclear facilities other than NPPs, using a graded approach.

Cyber security concerns for digital items in the scope of this Standard are covered by CSA N290.7.

1.2 Relevant topics

This Standard refers directly to other industry standards for topics related to the categorization of functions, hardware qualification aspects, and software qualification aspects.

1.3 Exclusions

This Standard does not apply to business systems (e.g., business applications, desktop computers, email, business networks), analysis software (e.g., scientific, engineering, and safety analysis software), or passive devices (e.g., wires), unless they are part of a safety-related computing system.

Note: For requirements related to analysis software refer to CSA N286.7.

1.4 Candidate product integration

Annex E, provides guidance that focuses on activities unique to the integration of a digital item, based on recent best practice and operating experience.

Note: Refer to CSA N290.12 for integration concerns with respect to human factors.

1.5 Assumptions

This Standard assumes that the candidate product has been previously assessed as functionally suitable for the proposed application.

Note: Functional suitability is a determination of the degree to which a product can meet the specified requirements including confirmation that the use of the digital item does not conflict with the requirements of the application. This Standard is used to qualify the product after this determination is made.

1.6 Precedence

In cases of conflict between this Standard and other Standards which it references, this Standard takes precedence.

1.7 Terminology

In this Standard, “shall” is used to express a requirement, i.e., a provision that the user is obliged to satisfy in order to comply with the standard; “should” is used to express a recommendation or that which is advised but not required; and “may” is used to express an option or that which is permissible within the limits of the Standard.

Notes accompanying clauses do not include requirements or alternative requirements; the purpose of a note accompanying a clause is to separate from the text explanatory or informative material.

Notes to tables and figures are considered part of the table or figure and may be written as requirements.

Annexes are designated normative (mandatory) or informative (non-mandatory) to define their application.

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