Addressing the growing and potentially catastrophic cyber threat to nuclear systems and facilities around the world

The cyber threat has expanded dramatically in recent years, with a series of damaging, high-profile attacks that have made headlines around the world. Nuclear facilities and critical command and control systems are not immune to cyber attack—such an attack could facilitate the theft of weapons-usable nuclear materials or a catastrophic act of sabotage. In addition, there is even the possibility that nuclear weapons command and control could be compromised.

Governments are working to understand and minimize these vulnerabilities, but cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated every day and those responsible—from policymakers to military officials to facility operators to regulators— are working to keep pace. 

To address this, NTI is taking a fresh look at the overarching framework and strategy that guides cybersecurity for critical nuclear facilities and systems. We are:

  • Working with a global group of experts in nuclear engineering, cyber security, as well as regulators and technology developers on a set of forward-looking, ambitious principles or “rules of the road” for protecting nuclear facilities from cyber threats.  
  • Convening policy and military advisors to examine vulnerabilities in nuclear command-and-control systems and define actions needed to reduce the threat. 
  • Working to strengthen global capacity to respond to a cyber attack on nuclear facilities.
Imagine an intentional catastrophe at a nuclear facility with a release of radiation as bad as or worse than the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant. A new 2016 NTI Index video explains why the threat of sabotage matters and introduces NTI's new sabotage ranking.

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