Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 3 of 3 < 1 2 3
Topic Options
#187949 - 11/10/09 12:30 PM Re: 60 Minutes: power grid vulnerability, plus [Re: James_Van_Artsdalen]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
The whole Internet hacker bringing down the grid is being wholly overplayed. It is just being touted as an excuse for the potential failings of an old and unfunded and poorly maintained network. Its easy to blame the computer hacker from Ulan Bator sitting in his Yurt for when the US grid falls over. The same situation is being repeated here in the UK.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/nov/01/winter-crisis-gas-supplies

There is a direct relationship between profit, operating cost and safety.

As for the nuclear power station issue, it is unlikely that that a nuclear power station will go bang if an emergency shutdown is called for. But it is not highly unlikely or impossible, the events at 3 mile island and Chernobyl have shown that it is possible. Indeed Chernobyl had shown that testing the emergency shutdown of the reactor to implement a safety procedure eventually led to the reactor going bang.

The 3 mile island event was just a incredulous as Chernobyl, as the operators didn't understand the status of one panel indicator in the control room. Even worse, safety critical engineering systems just simply failed and were known to fail such as the pilot-operated relief valve PORV. Even the primary feedwater pump system failed.

Quote:
Once the primary feedwater pump system failed, three auxiliary pumps activated automatically. However, because the valves had been closed for routine maintenance, the system was unable to pump any water. The closure of these valves was a violation of a key NRC rule, according to which the reactor must be shut down if all auxiliary feed pumps are closed for maintenance. This failure was later singled out by NRC officials as a key one, without which the course of events would have been very different.[9] The pumps were activated manually eight minutes later, and manually deactivated between 1 and 2 hours later,[9] as per procedure, due to excessive vibration in the pumps.[



Quote:
A lamp in the control room, designed to light up when electric power was applied to the solenoid that operated the pilot valve of the PORV, went out, as intended, when the power was removed. This was incorrectly interpreted by the operators as meaning that the main relief valve was closed, when in reality it only indicated that power had been removed from the solenoid, not the actual position of the pilot valve or the main relief valve. Because this indicator was not designed to unambiguously indicate the actual position of the main relief valve, the operators did not correctly diagnose the problem for several hours.


Even more telling;

Quote:
The Kemeny Commission noted that Babcock and Wilcox's PORV valve had previously failed on 11 occasions, 9 of them in the open position, allowing coolant to escape. More disturbing, however, was the fact that virtually the entire sequence of events at TMI had been duplicated 18 months earlier at another Babcock and Wilcox reactor, owned by Davis-Besse. The only difference was that the operators at Davis-Besse identified the valve failure after 20 minutes, where at TMI it took 2 hours and 20 minutes; and the Davis-Besse facility was operating at 9% power, against TMI's 97%. Although Babcock engineers recognised the problem, the company failed to clearly notify its customers of the valve issue


Yet these known issues were not acted on.

All I was suggesting was that a no load situation may result in a catastrophic disaster for a nuclear power station. The emergency shutdown procedure may start a chain of incorrect decision making and the engineering failures of critical safety systems, which may have not even been foreseen. Even as something as simple as the emergency diesel generator set not starting up simply because someone had pilfered the diesel. wink

An example of something similar was the test firing of a Royal Navy anti shipping guided missile (Harpoon) which failed. A senior ranking RN officer had aquired the then new missile 128Mbyte SDRAM DIMMs for his own personal computer.






Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (11/10/09 12:32 PM)

Top
#187959 - 11/10/09 02:49 PM Re: 60 Minutes: power grid vulnerability, plus [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
Yep, load loss won't scram the plant, it is how the operators react to the load loss that would be the likely cause of a plant critical event (not a criticality!).

_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

Top
#188005 - 11/11/09 12:31 AM Re: 60 Minutes: power grid vulnerability, plus [Re: benjammin]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
This just happened this evening:



Brazil's 2 largest cities hit by blackouts

Nov 10 08:19 PM US/Eastern

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Brazil's two largest cities have been hit by a massive blackout that has also affected other parts of Latin America's largest nation.

Media reports say problems at a huge hydroelectric dam are to blame for the electrial outages affecting large parts of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and other cities in several states.

The G1 Web site of Globo TV says Brazil lost 17,000 megawatts of power after an unspecified problem happened at the Itaipu dam that straddles the border of Brazil and Paraguay.

Officials did not immediately comment on Tuesday's outages. The blackouts came three days after CBS's "60 Minutes" news program reported several past Brazilian power outages were caused by hackers. Brazilian officials played down the report.

Top
#188015 - 11/11/09 02:19 AM Re: 60 Minutes: power grid vulnerability, plus [Re: benjammin]
James_Van_Artsdalen Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/13/07
Posts: 449
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: benjammin
Yep, load loss won't scram the plant, it is how the operators react to the load loss that would be the likely cause of a plant critical event (not a criticality!).

Loss of grid power might well be a mandatory SCRAM event - if you lose the grid you've lost Plan A for powering the reactor cooling pumps, and if you later have to shut down you'll lose Plan B before that shutdown finishes and be down to Plan C. A SCRAM right away (when there's no load anyway) lets you complete all this before something else goes wrong, and saves nuclear fuel.

Many SCRAMs are automatic anyway - at TMI the computers successfully shut down the reactor at the start. It was decay heat the operators were struggling against. At Chernobyl the automatic SCRAM was disabled because the system would not permit such a test situation...

I found one reference to the presentation at Black Hat on taking over smart meters & shutting off power city-wide: Buggy 'smart meters' open door to power-grid botnet

Top
#188079 - 11/11/09 09:07 PM Re: 60 Minutes: power grid vulnerability, plus [Re: Dagny]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077

Hmm, No doubt the Brazilian power outage will be attributed to as an ominous cyber warrior attack on a friendly US ally. The reality is probably somewhat more down to earth; the outage occurred during the TV showing of one of the most popular soap operas in Brazil, when everyone was settling down to watch, no doubt with the air conditioning turned up and electric kettle turned on for that sit down cup of coffee whilst most Brazilian women begin to live their lives vicariously through the one eyed monster in the corner of the living room.


Top
#188526 - 11/18/09 01:58 PM Re: 60 Minutes: power grid vulnerability, plus [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
The 60 Minutes story is generating more scrutiny on Capitol Hill.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125850773065753011.html

* NOVEMBER 18, 2009

FBI Suspects Terrorists Are Exploring Cyber Attacks

"The FBI is aware of and investigating individuals who are affiliated with or sympathetic to al Qaeda who have recognized and discussed the vulnerabilities of the U.S. infrastructure to cyber-attack," Mr. Chabinsky told the committee, without providing details.

Such infrastructure could include power grids and transportation systems.

The control systems of U.S. infrastructure as well as money transfers are now connected directly or indirectly to the Internet. Hackers have been able to penetrate computer systems running components of the U.S. electric grid as well as divert bank transfers.


Edited by Dagny (11/18/09 01:58 PM)

Top
#188529 - 11/18/09 03:08 PM Re: 60 Minutes: power grid vulnerability, plus [Re: Dagny]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077

Quote:
The 60 Minutes story is generating more scrutiny on Capitol Hill.


Jeyes will not only clear the Al Qaeda cyber warrior infiltrators from the interweb tubes but will also clean and freshen the interweb tubes as well. wink



Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (11/18/09 03:11 PM)

Top
Page 3 of 3 < 1 2 3



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, chaosmagnet, cliff 
November
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30
Who's Online
3 registered (Pete, Russ, Tjin), 225 Guests and 7 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Nova, jackmiller, DaveL, Dale, rac
5267 Registered Users
Newest Posts
How Much is Too Much?
by Jeanette_Isabelle
Today at 01:17 PM
California Wildfires- Nov.
by Russ
Yesterday at 09:39 PM
I'm Not Coming Home
by Jeanette_Isabelle
Yesterday at 02:44 AM
A Tribute to Stan Lee
by Jeanette_Isabelle
Yesterday at 02:04 AM
fresh motivation to pack a "Go bag"
by TeacherRO
11/13/18 10:22 PM
Anniversary
by haertig
11/13/18 04:13 AM
RSK-G2
by chaosmagnet
11/13/18 01:12 AM
Urban Prep Class at REI
by TeacherRO
11/12/18 08:19 PM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.