Carol Smidts, Indrajit Ray, Quanyan Zhu, Pavan Kumar Vaddi, Yunfei Zhao, Linan Huang, Xiaoxu Diao, Rakibul Talukdar, Michael C. Pietrykowski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Nuclear power currently generates approximately 10% of the world’s electricity using 440 nuclear power plants. Nuclear power delivers 29% of the low carbon power used in the world. In addition to these, 220 nuclear research reactors exist, some of which are used in the production of medical isotopes used for instance in cancer therapy [1]. As the world’s concern over climate change rises, this source of low carbon emission power is considered by many countries as a viable source of energy in the energy mix [2]. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency high case scenario, nuclear power could constitute 12% of the world’s energy mix in 2050. This would roughly correspond to a doubling of nuclear energy capacity since the world’s energy production is deemed to double in the next 30 years. Concurrently, the nuclear sector has been revitalizing its fleet through the introduction of digital systems that create opportunities for added functionalities such as real-time monitoring of the assets and reduced operating costs. Digital systems are to be used in the new reactor designs such as small modular reactors, advanced reactors, and microreactors with their functions slowly evolving from passive monitoring to a more autonomous on-site control with possibly remote monitoring [3]. A 2015 Chatham House report [4] findings point to issues which raise cybersecurity concerns such as the fact that air gapping might be a myth due to reliance on VPNs in some facilities and that air gaps are easily crossed with flash drives, communication breakdowns, lack of training, and the use of a reactive rather than proactive posture toward attacks. Attacks such as the 2010 Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities and the 2017 Saudi Arabia Triconex attack both testify to that effect. Cybersecurity is therefore an increasingly important area of investigation for nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpringerBriefs in Computer Science
Number of pages3
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameSpringerBriefs in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)2191-5768
ISSN (Electronic)2191-5776

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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