Thursday, February 28, 2013

Comment on Cyber Security:

The idea that a nuclear power plant can be protected from cyber attacks is ludicrous.  It might work for a while, but the attackers only have to be successful once, while the defenders must be vigilant not just every second but every microsecond.  Cybersecurity starts with parts that are not fraudulent, and fraudulent high-tech parts are a multi-billion dollar industry reaching into the stratosphere -- literally: Military and civilian aerospace has certainly been touched by faulty parts, fraudulent parts, mislabeled parts... large companies lose millions of dollars a years to this stuff, and spend millions more to detect it.

Who's to say workers at nuclear power plants are immune from human frailties and mistakes?  Aren't ever susceptible to bribes and blackmail?  Or do they always get it right?  Do they never borrow their kid's thumb drive when they can't find one of their own?

And when the big accident happens, chance are we won't be able to tell what caused it anyway.

Whoever wrote Stuxnet -- probably "friendlies" right? -- unleashed a torrent of responses which mutates every day into something new.  Some viruses are based on the actual code of Stuxnet, which was reportedly very professionally written.  Some computer viruses now have multiple separate parts which wait until the full set randomly gets onto the computer, making detection nearly impossible before the parts hook up and wreak havoc.

The cybersecurity nightmare for all of us is only beginning.  It's one more nail in SanO's bygone-technology coffin, which as pipe-dream after pipe-dream of solving its many problems:  Busted steam generators, nowhere for the used and highly radioactive reactor cores, worker harassment issues, falsified records... and a regulatory agency that thinks they are the perfect guardian of our "safety" to the exclusion of virtually all other regulatory agencies, from OSHA and Cal-OSHA to the PUC and on and on.  Don't talk to anyone but the NRC about safety.  And don't bother talking to the NRC, either, they'll just say, "submit that in writing and we'll get back to you."  When they do, if they do, they just say, "this is not considered of significance" no matter what it is.  It's not like real scientists didn't warn the NRC about the dangers of Fukushima-type accidents at Boiling Water Reactors, or of the various tsunami- and earthquake-induced accidents which could happen in Southern California.  Being able to say, "I told you so!" is no comfort to an "anti-nuke" activist, or any realist, or humanist, or warm body with a soul... a parent, a grandparent...).

Decommission now.

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

Several unsuccessful attempts were made to leave this comment at the KPBS web site to accompany their article on cyber security at nuke plants:


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