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The operating objectives for the control of nuclear power plant embrace many complex disciplines, not only in the system of the plant itself, but also in the range of operating conditions, and the need for minimum operating coat. The history of the plant also has to be related to plant life, and the economic benefit of extending it. Dynamic multivariable control system design uses topological techniques, and in the case of AGR boilers the plant is manoeuvred through a `constraint corridor¿¿. The interaction of margins on various plant components is a complex statistical problem, and capital and revenue expenditure decisions have to balance these margins against further expenditure on instrumentation, corrosion investigation and modelling analysis. An integrated resolution of these problems then has to cut across the management structure of many disciplines: systems engineering can provide this co-ordinating role.