Nuclear safety in front of FCC

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Comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filed by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) urge the Commission to support the continued use of Telex headsets in nuclear energy facilities.

The filing contends outlines the important public interest benefits the headsets provide to worker and operational safety. The continued use of these headsets is necessary due to the demanding performance requirements associated with the unique circumstances of nuclear power plants, according to NEI and UTC.

Safety is enhanced by using the same communications assets from the start of the delicate and highly choreographed process of moving used fuel containers to the outdoor storage facility. There is also substantial value of Telex wireless headsets for crane and other heavy equipment operations in the switch yard that demand precision and uninterrupted transmissions. The equipment for which the licenses are requested is also relied upon for its design and functionality, as it enables multiple headsets to be used simultaneously and allows workers dressed in heavy protective gear, including gloves, to manage the units in a hands-free manner. 

"For almost a decade the commercial nuclear industry has worked cooperatively with the FCC staff to ensure that the public health and safety case for the requested licensing action is well founded," said Ellen Ginsberg, NEI vice president. "Given the importance of protecting nuclear plant workers and maintaining safe plant operation, we believe it is entirely appropriate for the FCC to allow nuclear reactor licensees to use communications equipment best suited to these public health and safety objectives."

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