Britain’s largest generator of nuclear power said it would be looking at the hacking of a South Korean nuclear operator to see if any lessons could be learned – but the UK industry emphasised that its security standards are high and that it is well-equipped to withstand a cyber-attack. A spokeswoman for EDF Energy, which owns eight out of the nine nuclear power stations in the UK, said it took nuclear safety and security very seriously. “This extends to our stance around cyber-security and while it is not appropriate to go into detail, we work very closely with our regulator and other agencies to ensure that we have appropriate, ‘in depth’ protection measures in place to safeguard informa tion” she said. “Changes in threats to the UK and our industry in particular are kept under constant review and take into consideration recent cyber-events and changes in cyber-threats. “We are monitoring the situation in South Korea and will take any lessons learned from this into account.” The Office of Nuclear Regulation, has in place strict security regulations, requiring sites to have a security plan, which must include details of “the protection of computer-based systems important to safety and security (known as CBSIS)”. A 2012 ONR security review said computer systems must be protected “against cyber-attack, manipulation, falsification and sabotage, consistent with the threats identified in national threat assessments”.
Guardian 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
South Korean nuclear firm launches cyberattack drills amid fears threat to stop operations could have come from North Korea.
Telegraph 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
Mirror 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
Independent 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
A threat is made to “stay away” from nuclear reactors in South Korea unless the government shuts three down before Christmas, after a cyber-attack on the power company running them.
Channel 4 News 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
North Korea is suspected of being behind a hacking attack on computers controlling south Korean nuclear power stations, sparking fears Kim Jong-un may be planning a terror strike.
Daily Mail 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
A blast furnace at a German steel mill suffered “massive damage” following a cyber attack on the plant’s network, says a report. Details of the incident emerged in the annual report of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). It said attackers used booby-trapped emails to steal logins that gave them access to the mill’s control systems. This led to parts of the plant failing and meant a blast furnace could not be shut down as normal. The unscheduled shutdown of the furnace caused the damage, said the report. The attack is one of only a few on industrial systems known to have caused damage. The most widely known example of such an attack involved the Stuxnet worm which damaged centrifuges being used by Iran in its nuclear enrichment programme. Benjamin Sonntag, a software developer and digital rights activist, told Reuters: “We do not expect a nuclear power plant or steel plant to be connected to the internet. “To be computerised, but to be connected to the internet and to be hackable – that is quite unexpected,” he said.
BBC 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
South Korea boosted cyber security at the country’s nuclear power plants on Tuesday following what President Park Geun-hye described as a series “grave” data leaks, and prosecutors said they were investigating a new online threat.Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co Ltd (KHNP), which runs South Korea’s 23 nuclear power reactors, said on Monday its computer systems had been hacked, raising alarm in a country that is still technically at war with North Korea.Park ordered inspections of safeguards at national infrastructure facilities, including nuclear power plants, against what she called “cyber terrorism”.A government official said authorities had raised the cyber crisis alert by one level for all the state-run companies to “caution” from “attention”.The nuclear operator, part of state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp, said only non-critical data had been stolen and operations of the nuclear plants were not at risk. South Korea’s law enforcement authorities are investigating the leaks.
Reuters 23rd Dec 2014 read more »
A hacker responsible for revealing confidential information related to Korea’s two nuclear reactors last week posted more information on the Internet Tuesday. This time, links to four computer files were posted on a Twitter account at 3 p.m., including what appeared to be diagrams of the facilities. The hacker left a short message ridiculing the government’s desperate manhunt for him. It was the fifth leak of information on the Gori and Wolsong nuclear power plants since Dec. 15. Previous postings included blueprints of the plants, internal testing data and the personal information of some 10,000 employees at the state-run nuclear power plant operator, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power. The suspect is threatening to disclose further information unless the government stops operations at three of the 23 nuclear reactors in Korea.
Korea Times 23rd Dec 2014 read more »
South Korea’s nuclear power plant operator said on Tuesday it was investigating a new threat posted on a Twitter account that a fresh batch of data had been stolen from the agency. The Twitter account had previously been used to claim the theft of data last week.
Japan Times 23rd Dec 2014 read more »
Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP), the South Korea’s sole nuclear operator, is set to carry out cyber-attack drills following data hack and threats from a hacker.
Energy Business Review 23rd Dec 2014 read more »
South Korea has not ruled out the involvement of North Korea in a cyber-attack on the country’s nuclear power plant operator and has requested the United States to help in investigations, an official involved in the proceedings said.
ITV 23rd Dec 2014 read more »
Reuters 23rd Dec 2014 read more »
Express 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
Does it matter then that a South Korean nuclear plant was hacked and plans of the complex stolen? That rather depends on what happens next. As it is South Korea that’s the subject of this latest attack everyone tends to assume it must have had something to do with North Korea. With a target as sensitive as a nuclear power plant, not unreasonably people are asking if safety could be compromised by a cyber attack. Could hackers cause the next Chernobyl or Three Mile Island? The South Korean authorities have sought to reassure the public, making it clear that no “core systems” – those computers that control the reactor and safety systems – were compromised. If it was North Korea – and there is no evidence it was – then one might imagine it was actually the technical details and blueprints of a modern nuclear reactor that was the intended target. But sadly there is secondary security implication: the plans reveal the role of the human operators in running the reactor, and when it comes to hacking into critical infrastructure it is people that are the weakest link. For example, when Iran’s nuclear reprocessing plant at Natanz was hacked with the infamous Stuxnet virus, it should not have been possible as the computers affected were not connected to the outside world. There was a very distinct “air gap” maintained between the reactor computer controllers and any other network. But that air gap was relatively easy to bridge, by leaving USB sticks where curious people would find them, plug them in, and transfer the virus to the systems.
The Conversation 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
Despite the efforts to stop them, discharges of radioactivity into the Blackwater estuary from the dissolution of fuel element debris (FED) began in late June and were planned to continue for eighteen months. At least that was the plan – in fact, no sooner had the discharges begun than they were halted in July because of technical problems and have not yet recommenced. BANNG believes the project must now be abandoned. Chair of the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG), Andy Blowers, said ‘The dissolution should never have been started in the first place given the threat it poses to the estuary. The fact that it hasn’t worked properly provides the opportunity to call it a day and provide a safer solution’. No public statement was made about the outage and silence prevailed over several months during which it was fondly believed the discharges were occurring on a daily basis. It was only in late October, at an event in the West Midlands run by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), that Andy Blowers found out – quite by chance – that all was not well with the dissolution project, when the Chief Executive of the NDA happened to mention it was experiencing what he called ‘challenges’.
BANNG 16th Dec 2014 read more »
A group of South Korean thyroid cancer patients living near nuclear plants have filed the country’s first class action suit against the operator, after an October court ruling in favour of a plaintiff claiming a link between radiation and the cancer.
Malay Mail 16th Dec 2014 read more »
The New Year will likely bring a sea change to the international regime of financial protection for nuclear incidents, writes James A. Glasgow, partner at Pillsbury Winthrop. Some governmental and industry stakeholders have great expectations for the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC)*. They have long predicted that it will create a new safe harbor for nuclear vendors and enhanced protection for members of the public.
World Nuclear News 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
The Belgian government is kept on a leash by Electrabel. On Friday 19 December, the federal government decided to extend the lifetime of nuclear reactors Doel 1 and 2 by ten years. Only one party benefits from this decision: the owner and operator of this old nuclear power plant, GDF Suez/Electrabel. The decision once again confirms that Belgium’s energy supply is governed by a French private company which is only interested in its profits. The only way for Belgium to shift towards a sustainable energy future is for its people to jointly push for change. The government and Electrabel will still discuss who is going to pay for the lifetime extensions, but it is clear that GDF Suez/Electrabel will not lose a penny. It will cost hundreds of millions to make the necessary safety measures in order to reduce the risks of the ageing reactors. In order to agree to such a large investment, Electrabel demands ‘a clear legal and economic framework’. Read: ‘a good deal to reduce the investment risks’.
Greenpeace 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
A 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit Japan’s Honshu island on Saturday, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake shook the Fukushima nuclear power plant near Iwaki, 42 miles (68km) away from the earthquake’s epicentre.Tokyo Electric Power, which owns the Fukushima plant, said there were no irregularities found at its Daiichi or Daini plants.
IB Times 20th Dec 2014 read more »
Report by British Embassy in Hanoi on Vietnam’s nuclear plans.
Foreign Office 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
The first of four nuclear reactors being built by the United Arab Emirates will come on line in 2017 and the rest will be fully operational by 2020, an official said Monday.
Middle East Online 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
UK future nuclear deterrent update.
MoD 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
Renewables – wave
The Scottish Government is set to take on the assets of wave power company Pelamis, after no private bidders came forward to buy the firm. The announcement, made late last week, means all remaining employees at the Leith-based firm now face redundancy. Pelamis announced last month it had gone into administration following its failure to secure funding for the next stage of development of its flagship “seasnake” wave energy device. But on Friday, Blair Nimmo, joint administrator and head of restructuring at KPMG in Scotland, said all staff would be made redundant. The company had previously employed around 50 people and the BBC reported that 16 were still working at the company on Friday. However, Hi ghland and Islands Enterprise has been appointed preferred bidder to acquire the assets of Pelamis, in a bid to ensure the technology is not lost to foreign competitors. The newly formed “Wave Energy Scotland”, which is operated by the Scottish Government, will seek to retain the intellectual property for the Scottish-developed wave converter technology.
Business Green 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
Renewables – tidal
TIDAL energy developer Atlantis Resources has secured a feed-in-tariff agreement in Canada. The company confirmed it will receive Â£292 per megawatt hour generated for the 4.5MW scheme it hopes to deploy at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) in Nova Scotia, Canada. Atlantis, which is also developing the MeyGen tidal array in the Pentland Firth off Caithness, said its subsidiary Atlantis Operations (Canada) has started negotiating on a 15-year power purchase agreement with network operator Nova Scotia Power.
Herald 23rd Dec 2014 read more »
Scottish Energy News 23rd Dec 2014 read more »
The world’s largest tidal energy project, capable of powering nearly 175,000 homes in the U.K. with 400 megawatts of power, will break ground next month in northeast Scotland. Atlantis, majority owner of the MeyGen project, announced that its flagship project had met all the conditions required to start drawing down finance through the U.K.’s Renewable Energy Investment Fund.
Climate Progress 22nd Dec 2014 read more »
Green heat technology which could remove Scots households from fuel poverty is being stifled by restrictive planning conditions. Air source heat pumps, which can warm buildings using a fraction of the energy of conventional gas boilers, are subject to complex building regulations in Scotland – but not in England and Wales. Figures from energy regulator Ofgem show only 26% of domestic renewable heat installations in Scotland are air source heat pumps, compared to a UK average of 39%. Heat pumps need a small amount of electricity to run, but the energy they extract from the ground, air, or water is constantly being renewed naturally.
Scottish Energy News 23rd Dec 2014 read more »
Labour has warned the next government will face a series of looming green policy challenges, accusing the coalition of putting its flagship energy efficiency scheme at risk by failing to properly prepare for the post-election period. Speaking to BusinessGreen as part of a wide-ranging interview, shadow energy and climate change minister Jonathan Reynolds revealed Labour was planning for a baptism of fire should it win next year’s election with the state of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) top of its list of concerns.
Business Green 22nd Dec 2014 read more »