US Nuclear Plant Got Hacked, But Experts Say It’s Not A Big Problem

Nuclear energy experts aren’t concerned that federal investigators are looking into the attempted hacking of a U.S. nuclear power plant, primarily because of the infrastructure in place.

Scientific experts remain calm regarding the issue because all computer systems used to operate nuclear reactors are separated from normal business operations by several layers of security measures.

“US utilities with nuclear assets have very robust cyber security programs dating back to the days of Y2K,” David Blee, executive director of the Nuclear Infrastructure Council, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Operational plant systems controls are segregated from normal business software by several layers of protection, including physical means.”

An anonymous source told ABC News Wednesday that hackers breached business and administrative computers at an unnamed U.S. nuclear power plant. There is no evidence that any computer systems involved in the operation of reactors were breached.

ABC News did not identify the U.S. nuclear facility targeted by hackers. It’s also not clear who was behind the attack and whether the breach was part of recent attempts to hack power grids worldwide.

“We are not aware of a cyber security incident impacting any of our facilities,” John Keeley, a spokesman for the Nuclear Energy Institute which represents U.S. reactors, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Such an incident would be required to be reported to our regulator, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission [NRC], and would be an event of public notification.”

The fact that no officials reported the cyber attack to the NRC indicates that the breach wasn’t very dangerous. Many U.S. nuclear reactors are operated in full analog mode with no digital inputs. Computers that aren’t connected to the internet manage some reactors, but they’re only there to monitor and increase efficiency.

“Therefore, a breach of a business software process has no safety significance with respect to nuclear reactors, transmission and distribution systems or their controls,” Blee said. “While it is important to understand the nature of the breach and to take corrective action, this event appears to have posed no risk to the public or plant.”

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Comments (3)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Yes C Nucula power plants mention this to some eco-wacko green nuts and they bring up THREE MILE ISLAND or CHERNOBLE or asked if you ever saw Hanoi Jane’s awful movie THE CHINA SYMDROME and the idiots from the CLAM SHELL ALLIANCE will be there to camp around the place and the media black flies will swarm in

    Reply

  • Avatar

    MCPR

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    Ummm… That sure looks like a fossil power plant in the photograph accompanying the article. Just because it has hyperbolic venturi cooling towers doesn’t make it nuclear.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Oh no not those pesky Russians again . Don’t they have anything else to do ?

    Reply

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