U.S. nuclear regulators seek to apply AI and machine learning to cyber security at nuclear power plants

Feb. 4, 2022
AI and machine learning have the potential to provide tools for identifying, characterizing, and responding to cyber attacks at nuclear power plants.

ROCKVILLE, Md. – U.S. government nuclear power regulators are looking for companies able to apply artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to how they protect nuclear power plants from cyber attack.

Officials of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in Rockville, Md., issued a sources-sought notice (NRC-FFR-RES-2022-0001) on Wednesday for the Characterizing Nuclear Cyber Security Using Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning project.

AI and machine learning technologies have the potential to provide tools for identifying, characterizing, and responding to cyber attacks at nuclear power plants, NRC officials say.

For example, AI and machine learning may enable plant staff to monitor increasingly complex plant systems and detect and evaluate abnormalities resulting from a cyber attack.

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NRC officials are trying to learn about how AI and machine learning could help protect nuclear power plants from cyber attack, and are looking for a company that could do the necessary research.

Tasks would include identifying enabling technologies for cyber security in nuclear power; evaluating and choosing technologies that would demonstrate the value of AI and machine learning in nuclear cyber security; and carrying out this research with a small test case.

Enabling technologies would apply to detecting and distinguishing abnormal plant and cyber security states; considerations for accuracy and reliability; necessary machine leaning training data; how to identify and respond to a cyber-attack; identifying the risks of applying AI and machine learning to nuclear cyber security; and creating a technical report.

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The vendor must provide the personnel, equipment, and facilities necessary to simulate nuclear power plants, cyber security, and AI and machine learning technologies to detect cyber attacks.

The vendor also must have personnel who understand nuclear power plant operations, nuclear cyber security, nuclear power plant simulation, and AI and machine learning.

Companies interested should email capability statements no later than 17 Feb. 2022 to the NRC's Jennifer Dudek at [email protected]. More information is online at https://sam.gov/opp/ff24de7743b14b51ae2b6bec59f2f667/view.

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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