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Guidance for Deployment of Mobile Technologies for Nuclear Power Plant Field Workers

This report is a guidance document prepared for the benefit of commercial nuclear power plants’ (NPPs) supporting organizations and personnel who are considering or undertaking deployment of mobile technology for the purpose of improving human performance and plant status control (PSC) for field workers in an NPP setting. This document especially is directed at NPP business managers, Electric Power Research Institute, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, and other non-Information Technology personnel. This information is not intended to replace basic project management practices or reiterate these processes, but is to support decision-making, planning, and preparation of a business case.


Mobile technologies provide the potential for numerous applications in commercial NPPs, including, but not limited to, real-time and near-time data transfer to and from the field. Deploying this type of technology could significantly improve accuracy in positioning plant components (PPC), the collective situational awareness of plant personnel, and decision-making by providing plant personnel with rich data (e.g., electronic forms, diagrams, video, and voice) in real-time or near-time. Leveraging the latest commercial off-the- shelf technology should result in improved human performance and PPC by making the right field worker actions easy and the wrong actions difficult if not impossible. Additional benefits in safety, efficiency, and productivity are highly probable given the broad array of the current and emerging capabilities of the latest mobile technology. However, as with any new technology deployment, consideration should be given to the impact on the station enterprise systems and should be considered a major business decision. To maximize the full benefits of these emerging technologies with minimum risk, a systematic approach to full- scale deployment will be essential.


This document is intended to do the following:

Provide guidance to NPPs for successful deployment of mobile technologies to improve field worker human performance and efficiency.

Present a brief overview of current mobile technologies’ hardware and software capabilities.

Support decision-making about deployment of mobile technologies at a commercial NPP. Present information that will support the building of a business case for mobile

technologies implementation projects to improve human performance and PSC. iii Present a method to evaluate station needs to create a pull from vendors providing technology versus a push.


The Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program’s research team analyzed the current state of human performance and PSC in NPPs and the latest information on mobile devices and software technology in order to explore a number of usage scenarios. In their research, the team sought to answer three questions regarding improvements in PSC and human performance:

Would modern mobile technology, with embedded error prevention tools, increase efficiency, performance, and decision-making, and reduce human error?

Would the use of mobile devices improve the task focus of field workers? What impact would mobile technologies have on improving PSC?


This guidance document presents a high-level approach to addressing PSC using mobile technologies, as well as a basic human performance improvement process to accomplish this task. Additional information about some aspects of mobile technology, specific examples from previous research, and implementation considerations also are provided.