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Deployment Strategies for Wireless Sensor Networks in Nuclear Power Plants

Ataul Bariand Jin Jiang

Nuclear Technology / Volume 187 / Number 1 / July 2014 / Pages 82-95

Technical Paper / Nuclear Plant Operations and Control /

Applications of wireless technologies in nuclear power plants (NPPs), in particular for monitoring purposes, have been gaining popularity recently. It has been shown that wireless technologies can offer several advantages over wired solutions. However, many challenges need to be overcome before widespread adoption of wireless systems in nuclear industries. This paper has extended the existing work in this area and has developed a systematic procedure to deploy a wireless sensor network within a NPP containment. The developed scheme deals with the following challenges explicitly: (a) restrictions on the peak transmission power of the wireless sensor modules, (b) workaround of large concrete and metal structures, and (c) avoidance of locations with high radiation levels. Starting from the sensor locations dictated by the variables to be measured, the scheme determines the positions of the wireless relaying modules in a three-dimensional containment space to ensure reliable data communication. The results from case studies under realistic NPP containment conditions demonstrate the practical value of the proposed solution.

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