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Cybersecurity

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The Office of Nuclear Energy sponsors cross-cutting R&D to enable the use of advanced digital​ technologies in the U.S. nuclear fleet.  The Nuclear Cybersecurity Research (NCR) program serves both the current nuclear fleet and designers of advanced reactors and related technologies under development. There is a wide array of industrial control systems R&D happening already, and this program has established a narrow scope to avoid duplicating those. We aim to adapt the best cybersecurity discoveries and practices from other sectors to the rigorous needs of nuclear power applications and to address any unique challenges not being addressed elsewhere, especially where these can enable innovative nuclear power use cases.

Key near-term program goals include:​
  • Developing models and methods to prioritize cybersecurity risk​​s in nuclear plant control systems, for more effective and economically efficient risk management;
  • Supporting advanced reactor designers with tools and techniques for considering cybersecurity by design;
  • Removing any barriers to implementing modern cybersecurity best practices in nuclear power applications; and
  • ​​Investigating and addressing any cybersecurity challenges in future technologies and use cases (e.g. machine learning, automous control, wireless controls). ​​
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​​​​​Nuclear Cybersecurity Webinar​​
February 7, 2023 | 9:00 am MT​  (Updated Date)  

Purpose:
  • ​​Identify cybersecurity research and development needs to support future nuclear innovation.  
The sessions will be organized around: 
  1. ​​​Expectactions of reactor designers as they consider current and future deployments
  2. Barriers to implementing current and emerging cybersecurity best practices in nuclear control systems    

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Industry Engagement

The NCR program seeks continuous engagement with nuclear industry innovators, to ensure that we are advancing the right solutions at the needed pace. In late 2022, the program is conducting a focused set of meetings to support an updated cybersecurity R&D roadmap and program plan.  The goals of these efforts a​re to:

  • Understand the near-term and longer-term plans for deploying advanced digital technology in current and future nuclear plants;
  • Solicit the views of nuclear reactor designers, operators, digital systems suppliers and cybersecurity service providers, on how cybersecurity is being addressed and any challenges they are already aware of;
  • Once the needs are identified and prioritized, support industry participants with existing resources as available and identify R&D gaps that can inform the NCR program's work plans.
If you would like to participate in this process, please contact us via the information at the bottom of this page. ​ 

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​Program Point of Contact
​​National Technical Director
Lon Dawson, Sandia National Laboratories
ladawso@sandia.gov​
Office: 505-844-5220
Mobile: 505-270-7308
P.O. Box 5800, MS 1136, Albuquerque, NM 87185-1136​

Deputy-National Technical Director
Katya LeBlanc, Idaho National Laboratories
katya.leblanc@inl.gov​
Office: 208-526-1395
mobile: 575-650-8126
P.O. Box 1625, MS 3840, Idaho Falls, ID 83415-3840

​Federal Program Manager
Rebecca Onuschak
rebecca.onuschak@nuclear.energy.gov​
Mobile: 301-903-0023












​​​Recent Publications
Cybersecurity​ by Design
​​Risk Analysis Methods

Supply Chain Security

​Architectures and Technologies