Nuclear industry's bid to limit cyber rules opens debate over defensive strategies
The U.S. nuclear energy industry is asking the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to narrow the cybersecurity regulations governing reactors, limiting the rules' reach to equipment and systems that are directly involved in protecting reactor cores and spent fuel pools. Cyberattack defenses for off-site communications and emergency preparedness functions would no longer be mandated.
Anthony Pietrangelo, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer of the Nuclear Energy Institute, requested the change in a petition to the NRC last year. The NEI contends that existing NRC cybersecurity regulations require plant operators to create cyberattack defenses for hundreds to thousands of digital equipment pieces and systems that play no role in preventing "radiological sabotage" -- attacks that threaten reactor cores or spent fuel pools.
Legal tussles over Indian Point enter 'crucial year,' but final permit rulings unlikely
NEW YORK -- The 2,000-megawatt Indian Point Energy Center in the Hudson River Valley just north of the Big Apple is headed for more overlapping legal maneuvers in the year ahead, with daylight possible but by no means a certainty.
The nuclear plant, owned and operated by Entergy Corp., is facing permit renewals for its two active reactors along with litigation related to state and federal approval of those permits -- not to mention pressure from environmentalists and others within the state who want to see it closed for good.
Ill. agencies lay out menu of options to support Exelon nukes
Illinois agencies outlined a range of policy solutions in a report issued yesterday aimed at helping prop up three Exelon Corp. nuclear plants that the company said have struggled to remain profitable in recent years.
The report was produced by four state agencies at the request of the General Assembly. The Legislature requested the reports last spring amid lobbying by the Chicago-based power producer.
Obama picks former general counsel to lead agency as controversy thickens
President Obama has tapped Commissioner Stephen Burns to be chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission starting Jan. 1, 2015, the agency said yesterday.
Burns, a 33-year veteran of the agency, was sworn in as a commissioner last month. He will lead the agency amid a brewing storm over issues including the fate of the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev.; new safety regulations after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan; and a nomination for the open fifth chair on the commission. The contention is likely to intensify as Republicans take control of both chambers of Congress next session.
Europe will struggle to cope with decline of its nuclear plants -- study
Europe is likely to succeed in dealing with sharply diminishing nuclear power generation by curbing electricity demand, raising efficiency, strengthening grids and increasing renewable energy production, a study by HSBC said.