WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Nuclear Energy Institute’s chief nuclear officer and senior vice president, Anthony Pietrangelo, made the following comment about the cyber security executive order signed Tuesday by President Obama.
“Commercial nuclear energy facilities are well protected from possible cyber threats. The nuclear energy industry has been implementing and improving cyber security controls since 2002, and the federal agency that oversees the nation’s nuclear energy facilities—the Nuclear Regulatory Commission—has established regulations that thoroughly monitor and inspect cyber security at all U.S. reactors.
“To ensure our constant readiness, the industry participates with government agencies to be aware of and assess its readiness for emerging cyber threats. Our facilities are essentially cyber islands, in that safety and control systems are not connected to business networks or the Internet. Unlike industries for which two-way data flow is critical, nuclear power plants do not require incoming data flow.
“Nuclear plants also are protected from grid instability, with multiple backup power supplies that provide for safe shutdown of a reactor in the event of a power blackout. Given that the NRC appropriately exercises authority over the protection of nuclear plant systems from potential cyber threats, it would be counterproductive to have dual oversight of these facilities.”