NRC Approves Pilgrim’s Request for Cybersecurity Extension


PLYMOUTH – The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth will not have to meet full federal cybersecurity standards prior to its scheduled shutdown in 2019.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the station’s request for an extension to push the implementation date of the final cyber-security milestone from this month to the end of 2020.

The new cyber-security regulations were created in 2009 by the NRC. The first phase was completed in 2012 and involved the implementation of controls to protect the most significant digital assets of plants. The second phase was to be completed by facilities by December 15.

NRC Spokesman Neil Sheehan said the regulatory agency feels the plant met the first seven cyber-security milestones and some of the procedures in the last milestone – number 8.

“We believe that with all the other steps that have already been put in place that the plant should be able to operate safely in terms of cyber security for the rest of its operational life,” Sheehan said.

The work already completed in the area ensures that most risk-significant and security critical digital assets remain secure.

The final milestone would have included the completion of cyber controls, cyber security awareness, training for plant employees, incident response drills and testing, configuration management controls and supply chain protection.

“These were sort of the finishing touches on the work that has already been carried out, but it was really those milestones one through seven that will go a long way towards making sure the plant’s already safe in terms of cyber security,” Sheehan said.

Pilgrim remains under the highest level of NRC oversight and is one of the worst performing plants in the nation.

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