More than 40 experts from nuclear operators across 15 countries and several international organizations worked to develop practical steps to strengthen cybersecurity at nuclear facilities during the fifth meeting of NTI’s Cyber-Nuclear Forum earlier this month. During the April 4-8 meeting near Marseille, France, participants (some of whom joined virtually) focused on the practical challenges of dealing with ransomware, supply chain issues, recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce, and how best to measure the effectiveness of security measures.
The Cyber-Nuclear Forum brings together cybersecurity experts from operational nuclear facilities around the world, enabling them to exchange information and best practices around cybersecurity. It is the only forum of its kind, solely focused on identifying practical measures to prevent a cybersecurity lapse that could jeopardize safety and compromise global confidence in civilian nuclear power as a safe and reliable energy source.
Unfortunately, digital systems, including those used for nuclear security and safety, are not immune to cyberattacks. The compromise of a facility’s business networks could lead to the loss of sensitive business and security information. The compromise of digital control systems could directly affect the safety of a nuclear facility. Given the global demand for cyber-nuclear experts, ensuring adequate technical capacity will be an enduring challenge for the global nuclear industry.
“NTI’s Cyber-Nuclear Forum is a vital, one-of-a-kind network that offers great benefits to participants, to the nuclear industry, and to global security broadly,” said Page Stoutland, former NTI vice president of Scientific and Technical Affairs, who organized and attended the April meeting.
The Forum is expected to meet again virtually in late 2022 and in-person in mid-2023.