The operators of the Savannah Nuclear Site in South Carolina turned to a California sensors and controls manufacturer to help them comply with new Department of Energy requirements relating to critical safety communications.

Working with Moore Industries, North Hills, Calif., allowed site engineers to install a wireless system to use radio transmissions to send critical data across large distances without wiring.

The site has a firewater tank that safety crews use for fire suppression in case there is an accident on the site. The DOE recently required the site to have the ability to instantly monitor the water level in the tanks from a main control room and backup control room that are each one-half mile from the tank. Previously, engineers manually monitored the tank levels during on-site inspections, and the system required hard wiring of around 100 yards.

Installing a hard wired system to connect the control rooms to the firewater tank would have required an extensive amount of expensive cabling, adding costs while also making the system more difficult to manage and maintain. Instead, the Savannah Nuclear Site’s operators opted to use WNM Wireless Network Module and the NCS NET Concentrator Systems from Moore to share the real-time levels of the firewater tanks via radio communications.

The installed system includes inputs mapped to multiple outputs over serial radios. Local watchdog alarms were mapped to relay outputs at the control rooms. The watchdog warns operators if communications have been lost or if there is an issue with the levels.

Moore released a white paper describing how wireless systems can be used in installations such as these.