A top Russian diplomat said on Tuesday that authorities in New Delhi have assured Moscow that the Kudankulam nuclear power plant is secure, following reports of a cyber attack, the Hindustan Times reported. The Indian officials also said that measures had been put in place to prevent such incidents from repeating.
Russia’s state-run firm Atomstroyexport is playing a key role in the construction of the 6,000-megawatt project. The plant will have six VVER-1000 nuclear reactors supplied by Moscow. Two of the reactors have been operationalised, and two others are being constructed.
“Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited has assured us that the plant is safe,” Roman Babushkin, the deputy chief of the Russian mission in New Delhi, told reporters. “Measures have been taken to prevent a repeat of such events...There is nothing to worry about. We are working with Indian agencies to stop any further attacks and the agencies of the two countries are interacting regularly.”
Babushkin said Russia was helping India create multiple layers of security for “physical and software safety” of the nuclear power plant, and training Indian personnel to operate the facility. He added that Moscow is in talks with New Delhi to build up to 20 civil nuclear reactors. “We are waiting for the Government of India to identify a new site for building another plant with six reactors,” he said.
The government-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India on October 30 admitted to the presence of malware in one of the computers at Tamil Nadu’s Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant last month. The nuclear corporation, however, said that investigations confirmed that the “plant systems are not affected” by the cyber attack.
On October 19, one of the two 1,000-megawatt nuclear power units at Kudankulam had stopped generating power. Officials in their response said it was because of malfunctioning of a mechanical device in the turbine section, and not due to any electronic complication.
On November 7, reports said that suspected North Korean hackers stole technology-related data from the computers. The cyber attackers, who deployed a malware designed for data theft, were backed by the North Korean government, said IssueMaker Labs, an expert group of malware analysts based in South Korea.
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