Data Communications (NUREG/CR-6082, UCRL-ID-114567)
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Manuscript Completed: July 1993
Date Published: August 1993
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
P.O. Box 808
Livermore, California 94550
Division of Reactor Controls and Human Factors
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001
NRC FIN L-1867
The purpose of this paper is to recommend regulatory guidance for reviewers examining computer communication systems used in nuclear power plants. The recommendations cover three areas important to these communications systems: system design, communication protocols, and communication media. The first area, system design, considers three aspects of system design — questions about architecture, specific risky design elements or omissions to look for in designs being reviewed, and recommendations for multiplexed data communication systems used in safety systems. The second area reviews pertinent aspects of communication protocol design and makes recommendations for newly designed protocols or the selection of existing protocols for safety system, information display, and nonsafety control system use. The third area covers communication media selection, which differs significantly from traditional wire and cable. The recommendations for communication media extend or enhance the concerns of published IEEE standards about three subjects: data rate, imported hazards and maintainability.