NPCIL claims Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is safe after malware scare

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Mumbai: The NPCIL on Friday said its reactors at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu are "safe".

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), a public sector undertaking on Wednesday admitted to a malware attack on one of the computers in Kudankulam plant, a day after the plant authorities had asserted that cyberattacks on its systems are not possible.

"Security, be it physical or cyber, is one area which we should not discuss the details. But be rest assured the reactors are safe and are being monitored by the experts," NPCIL Chairman and Managing Director SK Sharma told PTI on the sidelines of an event here when asked about the safety of the reactors.

NPCIL, a public sector undertaking under the Department of Atomic Energy, had, in its statement, also said that the plant systems were not affected.

"Computerisation in nuclear power stations had taken a tremendous amount of time for implementation because the nuclear power generating countries were having doubts about the safety. Therefore, the systems that are involved in operating of our plants are completely independent and are never connected to any other system or the internet. This is as per international safety standards," DAE Secretary KN Vyas said.

The DAE, which carried out the investigations at the plant had revealed that the infected computer belonged to a user who was connected in the internet network used for administrative purposes.

"Identification of malware in NPCIL system is correct. The matter was conveyed by CERT-In (Computer emergency response team) when it was noticed by them on September 4, 2019," it said.

DAE had also stated that the system was isolated from the critical internal network.

"The networks are being continuously monitored. Investigations also confirm that the plant systems are not affected," the statement added.

On October 29, Kudankulam plant had allayed fears of a cyber attack on its systems after reports emerged that it had become a victim of a cyber attack.

The KKNPP is an Indo-Russian joint venture and units I and II of 1000 MWe capacity each and they have commenced commercial operations while Units III to VI is under construction.

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