Coexistence Assessment of Industrial Wireless Protocols in the Nuclear Facility Environment (NUREG/CR-6939)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: May 2007
Date Published: July 2007

Prepared by:
M. Howlader, C.J. Kiger and P.D. Ewing

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Managed by UT-Battelle, LLC
P.O. Box 2008
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6283

T. V. Govan, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Division of Fuel, Engineering and Radiological Research
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

NRC Job Code Y6475

Availability Notice


This report details an interference study of the three most prominent wireless devices in use today, using computer models and simulations. The goal is to determine whether Bluetooth, Zigbee, and Wireless Fidelity (WiFi) wireless devices can coexist in an industrial environment. All three wireless devices operate in the 2.4-GHz industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) frequency band. Simulations are conducted because of the amount of time that it would take to physically collect measurements for a plausible coexistence study. Numerous possible combinations of transmitters, receivers, and interferers are simulated. Both general channel models and site-specific channel models, incorporating the physical layout of an industrial building, are created and computed to simulate the effects of interference for certain combinations of different wireless devices. The considered channel models are basic additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN), general Rayleigh fading, and site-specific Ricean and Rayleigh fading. The results of the simulations demonstrate the performance of the three wireless devices in a practical wireless environment and their influence on other wireless devices.

Related work performed to date under JCN Y6475 includes a companion study that identified and assessed wireless technologies, both current and emerging, that have the potential for deployment in nuclear facilities. The companion study explored the technology differentiators that need to be considered before deploying a wireless system. In addition, deployment issues were investigated and current wireless deployments in nuclear facilities were examined. Results of that study are reported in NUREG/CR-6882, Assessment of Wireless Technologies and Their Application at Nuclear Facilities (May 2006). Security issues are also briefly explored in NUREG/CR-6882, but it was not the intent of that study to comprehensively address wireless security issues. The need for a comprehensive treatment of wireless security has been recognized and additional work will be performed in this area. The results of the planned wireless security study are anticipated to augment the findings from this study and the work reported in NUREG/CR-6882.

This NUREG/CR report does not contain any information collections and, therefore, is not subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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