Bigger Guns, Bigger Problems? How High-Powered Ammunition Could Affect Nuclear Power Plants

Lest we forget the substations that were sabotaged via sniper attack in California in 2013, causing electricity to go out. Although the high-powered ammunition in this article’s case is on the side of security, what’s to stop the security personnel from being infiltrators themselves bent on industrial espionage and sabotage?

 

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More powerful ammunition meant to protect nuclear reactors was capable of piercing control panels and critical piping.

(TNS) – Shortly after the horrors of 9/11, a curious package landed on Dave Lochbaum’s desk.

It was flat but heavy. Inside the bubble pack was a battered steel plate, blasted with dents and holes from semiautomatic weapons fire. Each pockmark and perforation was carefully labeled – by hand, in permanent ink – with the type of ammunition used to produce it.

Security forces at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and nuclear plants nationwide had increased their firepower to take on a more formidable terrorist threat. The steel plate, sent by a San Onofre security manager, graphically illustrated what Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer, considered a potentially devastating, increased risk: Continue reading

FBI warn ISIL hackers plan local blackouts in U.S. power grid

There doesn’t even need to be any hackers involved. Nine substations being taken out will send America back into the stone ages and claim upwards of 9 out of 10 American lives. That’s how safe the U.S. electrical grid is. The electrical grid in central California has already been attacked with sniper rifles in what’s likely a dry run. It was reported an entire year later after the incident, then whitewashed as a non-threat.

As for the rest of the infrastructure, control of SCADAs is key — something China and Russia likely can manipulate. From there, sewage systems could be forced to flood the streets and medication dosages for the sick and elderly could be manipulated.

 

The terror group’s hackers have attempted cyberattacks in the U.S., but aren’t skilled enough to succeed, the FBI said. Still, though, ISIL may have the cash to fund cyberattacks on U.S. targets.

“Strong intent. Thankfully, low capability,” John Riggi, a section chief in the FBI’s cyber division, told CNN. “But the concern is that they’ll buy that capability.” Continue reading

The China Challenge: The weapons the PLA didn’t show

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A Pentagon official said the carefully choreographed military parade through Beijing’s Tiananmen was notable for the weapons that were not shown. They include China’s growing cadre of cyber warfare forces; its ground launched anti-satellite missiles and its new ultra-high-speed maneuvering hypersonic glide vehicle, known as the DF-ZF.

All three programs remain tightly guarded secrets for the Chinese government and details about them are unlikely to be made public any time soon. Continue reading