Security Zoning and Asset Tracking in a Nuclear Plant
WISER’s asset tracking system enables virtual security zoning and real-time visibility across the plant. Because WISER uses a flexible UWB wireless mesh to accomplish this, security zones and safety barriers can be adjusted without any physical changes to a facility. This allows customers to quickly manage restricted areas, hazardous spaces, and other safety and security issues at minimal costs.
THE PROBLEM: SAFETY AND SECURITY RISKS
Locations like nuclear power plants require careful controls over who goes where. Unauthorized access could result in time-consuming security checks at best, or danger to workers in worse circumstances. Given the highly sensitive materials handled in energy locations like this, security breaches could even lead to plant-wide shutdown or danger for outside parties.
Energy settings like this also need safe and immediate means to evacuate and rescue personnel in the case of emergency. These might include voice-to-voice communication to find personnel in need of help, but this is not always a reliable means to locate injured or trapped workers.
Real-time location systems (RTLS) are a valuable solution to this problem, but the harsh conditions in energy settings typically make legacy RTLS inoperable. The large amount of metal and RF interference in these settings is particularly challenging.
THE SOLUTION: WISER’S ASSET TRACKING SYSTEM
WISER’s UWB localization system is unique in its ability to operate reliably even in cluttered, complex settings like nuclear plants. It’s also uniquely easy to deploy and to arrange, allowing energy companies to manage security zoning, safety perimeters, and emergency location of personnel quickly and flexibly. This allows it to deliver affordable, precise localization of workers for safety and security applications even in energy settings.
On-site staff, contractors, and visitors are given security badges equipped with WISER Tracker Tags. WISER’s system locates these tags in real time and instantaneously displays their locations on a facility map or floorplan. Now, site managers can be notified immediately if anyone enters an unsafe or restricted zone. Site managers can also establish virtual perimeters simply by drawing boundary lines on a map in WISER’s software. Because these are controlled digitally, they can be created, removed, or adjusted at will in a matter of just moments.
It’s also possible to locate and track nuclear waste or similarly sensitive assets. Because WISER’s system functions both indoors and out, it can be used to monitor material movement for containment or disposal even as it moves across a campus.
By accessing WISER’s stream of real-time data, customers can translate perimeter violations into specific alerts. For instance, if a worker crosses into a hazardous zone, end-users can generate an autonomous warning. Or, if a contractor or visitor enters a restricted zone, immediate alerts could be sent to site management or security.
This type of software integration also allows for specific roles to be created with unique access. For example, security roles could be given wide access to zones and tracking data; maintenance professionals could be granted access to locations that are dangerous for untrained personnel; contractor access could be limited by time and place. All of this can be precisely controlled and customized.
THE RESULTS: HEIGHTENED SAFETY AND SECURITY
This use of WISER’s Locator system facilitates heightened worker safety, increased security, and enhanced autonomy. For instance, WISER’s sub-meter precision lets site managers know immediately if one of their workers enters a hazardous zone—or even the area adjacent to it. This lets them begin addressing problems before a worker is endangered or the problem is too costly to contain.
WISER’s system also reduces monitoring costs. It removes any need to manually account for personnel during evacuation or muster procedures, for instance. Instead, WISER’s data can be used to trigger autonomous alerts if someone does not arrive at a gathering point, or if a worker has fallen or is motionless too long in a dangerous area. End-users can also find personnel and critical assets instantly simply by searching for their WISER ID in the software.
The flexibility of the system extends through both the hardware and software. End-users can adjust WISER’s wireless mesh at will, adding, arranging, or subtracting devices to fit the needs of their environments. This non-permanent setup reduces upfront installation costs significantly and allows system use even in environments that change frequently. Furthermore, end-users can create geofences, security zones, and safety perimeters in WISER’s software quickly and easily, allowing these to be adjusted and changed to fit specific projects or schedules.
WISER RRLT employs UWB for its superior ability to locate, track, and zone an area, and to perform and scale in cluttered, metallic settings or spaces with high levels of interference, such as power generation facilities or hazardous industrial settings.