Sunday, May 29, 2011

Nuclear plant in South Carolina to become first digitally controlled facility in the U.S.

The first Nuclear power plant in the U.S. to be upgraded with digital controls, is to become operational in the next few weeks, in South Carolina. The operators of the power plant found this as a cost saving measure because all plants in the U.S. use about 4 analog sensors to monitor reactors, and very often, those sensors give bad readings. When this happens, the plant has to shut down, and new sensors have to be installed, which are becoming harder to acquire as well. A digital system can take several thousand measurements at a time, while 4 analog sensors can only display 4 different measurements to an engineer....

This story is very interesting because I had no idea that Nuclear plants in the U.S. were using mostly analog controls, while many countries around the world use digital systems. The supposed reasoning that U.S. plants havent made the switch as quick, was a fear that the digital systems could be hacked, because most power utilities are connected to the internet to be controlled securely from a different location. I think this is a legitimate fear, because there have been many stories and reports about power/water facilities being hacked remotely from foreign countries and overriding the controls and causing chaos. Another cautionary tale about using Nuclear power in this digital age.....

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hENXQ0IVXDTVYq4fVXnTuPf2q1iQ?docId=abdb61ce2888429a9099740db53c9304

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