Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday demanded an explanation from the government after a Twitter user claimed that the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu may have been struck by a cyber attack. Calling the claim very serious, Tharoor said: “If a hostile power is able to conduct a cyber attack on our nuclear facilities, the implications for India’s national security are unimaginable.”

Officials at the power plant, however, denied the claim. Sanjay Kumar, the site director, said the power plant’s network was totally isolated and could not be accessed by any outside network from anywhere in the world, The Hindu reported. He said both units of the plant were generating power.

On October 19, one of the two 1,000-megawatt nuclear power units at Kudankulam had stopped generating power.

R Ramdoss, the training superintendent and information officer at the power plant, said: “Some false information is being propagated on the social media platform, electronic and print media with reference to the cyber attack on Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. This is to clarify Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project and other Indian Nuclear Power Plants Control Systems are standalone and not connected to outside cyber network and internet. Any cyber attack on the Nuclear Power Plant Control System is not possible.”

On September 7, cyber intelligence specialist Pukhraj Singh had tweeted: “I just witnessed a casus belli in the Indian cyberspace and it sucks at every level.” He had not provided details then, but shared that tweet again on Monday, saying: “So, it’s public now. Domain controller-level access at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. The government was notified way back. Extremely mission-critical targets were hit.”

He claimed a “third party” had discovered the intrusion and had contacted him, after which he notified the National Cyber Security Coordinator on September 3. He said the alleged attack had struck another target, which was “scarier” than the Kudankulam plant in some ways.

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