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Dirty tricks in the nuclear industry, using Stuxnet computer worm?

if Areva wanted to harm Siemens reputation or make it less attractive to Rosatom, what better way than to demonstrate the unreliability of its control system software?

British Nuclear Power Plant Goes Dark. Stuxnet Worm To Blame?, Forbes, The Firewall , Nov. 1 2010 by Jeffrey Carr,  British Energy, owned by France’s EDF Energy PLC, has reported an “unplanned outage” at its Heysham 1 nuclear power plant yesterday. A company spokesperson told the Associated Press that repairs to one of the reactors are ongoing but didn’t say when the plant was expected to resume operations.
According to Siemens’ website, EDF Energy is a customer of the German technology giant, whose infrastructure software has suffered from a global infection of the sophisticated Stuxnet worm…….

Regardless of whether this outage was the result of digital industrial sabotage via a Stuxnet-infected Siemens S7 controller or just a broken wire, this incident is significant for at least 3 reasons:

  • The UK’s energy provider for London and outlaying areas is now Hong Kong’s largest electric company, the Cheung Kong Group. I have to wonder who in the British government signed off on this. Granted, ownership by a Hong Kong company is not nearly the same as ownership by a Peoples Republic of China company, but it would be grossly naive to believe that the PRC doesn’t have the ability to exert its will on the Cheung Kong Group if push comes to shove.
  • French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde wants EDF (Electricite de France SA) to “get along”  with Areva SA, another French company and the world’s largest builder of nuclear power plants. The French government owns 90% of Areva and wants a larger share of the nuclear energy world market.
  • Siemens wants to extricate itself from its minority ownership role in Areva and enter a joint venture with the Russian company Rosatom, who just finished building Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant and has signed a deal to build a reactor in Vietnam. Unfortunately for Siemens, Areva is fighting to keep that from happening because (a) they had the same arrangement with Rosatom, but Rosatom wants Siemens instead and (b) Siemens has taken Avera before the EU Commission for trying to enforce an anti-compete clause in their contract that, Siemens claims, violates the EU’s anti-trust rules.

Now, if Areva wanted to harm Siemens reputation or make it less attractive to Rosatom, what better way than to demonstrate the unreliability of its control system software?

British Nuclear Power Plant Goes Dark. Stuxnet Worm To Blame? – The Firewall – the world of security – Forbes

November 4, 2010 - Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | , , , , , , , ,

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