Home > Critical Infrastructure Security, SCADA Security > NERC (CIP) for Nuclear Plants…Coming Soon

NERC (CIP) for Nuclear Plants…Coming Soon

Recently the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the North American Reliability Corporation (NERC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding supplementing a previous MOA signed back in 2007.

This new supplement is set forth to define roles and responsibilities for NERC & NRC as they are expected to work closely in enforcing the relative security standards and guides on Nuclear plants. (Video of the Meeting can be found here)

NERC and NRC

NERC and NRC

Summary of the MOA:

-NRC shall inspect digital assets including SCADA systems and networks which affect safety, security and emergency preparedness functions of a nuclear plant to ensure compliance with NRC’s cyber security requirements.(Here)

-NERC shall inspect digital assets related to the continuity of power for compliance with NERC’s CIP standard

-Both NERC and NRC agree on sharing information and to coordinate and consult to the maximum extent practicable

-Each is responsible for the taking the appropriate enforcement action in case of violations to its own standard

-Both have to mutually agree on enforcement actions and public announcements related to incidents/actions violating both standards.

This complements the recent news that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the implementation plan for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards compliance by nuclear generator owners and operators in the United States.

As a result, the timeline for achieving compliance with CIP standard has begun. Compliance with two CIP Reliability Standard Requirements, CIP-002-1 Requirements R1 and R2, must be achieved within 12 months.

Compliance with the remaining Requirements is dependent on future developments, but will likely be due within 18 months.

Sources:

NERC/NRC MoA
FERC Approves Implementation Plan for CIP Compliance at Nuclear Plants
Regulatory Guide 5.71, “Cyber Security Program for Nuclear Facilities”

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