Identifying Vulnerabilities in CANDU Nuclear Power Plants to Cyber Attacks
9 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2019
Date Written: January 1, 2018
The increasing reliance of nuclear power plants on digital control systems for plant process and safety operations has increased their vulnerability to unprecedented cyberattacks that have the potential to damage critical plant infrastructure as well as impact public health through radiation exposure. In this paper, a few examples of recent cyberattacks on nuclear facilities are reviewed to falsify the myth of impregnable defense by virtue of being ‘air-gapped’. The focus of this paper is identification of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in CANDU nuclear power plants. A thumbnail description of the CANDU reactor design along with its unique safety features and control operations is provided, followed by identification of several process and systemic cybersecurity vulnerabilities prevalent in the design and operation of such plants.
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