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NTI’s Van Dine Highlights Cyber Risk to Nuclear Facilities

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A new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Project on Nuclear Issues features a paper, After Stuxnet: Acknowledging the CyberThreat to Nuclear Facilities, by NTI Program Associate Alexandra Van Dine. The paper highlights the threat posed to nuclear facilities
from cyber-attacks and the current lack of adequate domestic and international
legal and institutional protections for such facilities.

Van Dine argues that although Stuxnet was a precise weapon that targeted an illicit nuclear weapons program in a way that never endangered human life or the environment, it also opened the door to more sinister or indiscriminate cyber-attacks against less secure, higher consequence nuclear facilities vulnerable to theft or sabotage. The lesson Stuxnet teaches the international community is that we must take steps to defend against these threats to avoid disaster. 

 CSIS launched the Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) in 2003 to develop the next generation of policy, technical, and operational nuclear professionals through outreach, mentorship, research, and debate. PONI runs two signature programs—the Nuclear Scholars Initiative and the Annual Conference Series—to engage emerging nuclear experts in thoughtful and informed debate and research over how best to address the nuclear community’s most pressing problems.

The papers included in the new volume, Project on Nuclear Issues: Collection of Papers from the 2016 Nuclear Scholars Initiative and PONI Conference Series, comprise research from participants in the 2016 Nuclear Scholars Initiative, of which Ms. Van Dine was a participant, and the PONI Conference Series and span a range of technical and policy issues. PONI sponsors this research to provide a forum for facilitating new and innovative thinking and a platform for emerging thought leaders across the nuclear enterprise. 

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