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We propose using non-obtrusive physiological assessment (e.g., eye tracking,) to assess human information processing errors (e.g., loss of vigilance) and limitations (e.g., workload) for advanced energy systems early in the design process. This physiological approach for assessing risk will circumvent many limitations of current risk methodologies such as subjective rating (e.g., rater’s biases) and performance modeling (e.g., risk assessment is scripted and is based upon the individual modeler’s judgment). Key uses will be to evaluate (early in the design process) novel control room equipment and configurations as well as newly developed automated systems that will inevitably place a high information load on operators. The physiological risk assessment tool will allow better precision in pinpointing problematic design issues and will provide a “real-time” assessment of risk. Furthermore, this physiological approach would extend the state-of-the-art of human reliability methods from a “static” measure to more “dynamic.” This paper will discuss a broad range of the current popular online performance gauges as well as its advantages and disadvantages for use in next generation control room.