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Strategic Research Initiatives

Digital/Cyber Security And Nuclear Security

Rizwan Uddin (217-244-4944), nuclear, plasma, and radiological engineering (NPRE); William Sanders, electrical and computer engineering and Coordinated Sciences Laboratory (CSL); (with additional collaborators from NPRE and CSL)

Addressing the Problem

The nuclear industry and homeland security establishments have an urgent need to continuously push the state of the art to develop new, advanced, and nuclear-grade digital control and cyber security technologies. Due to its existing expertise in nuclear engineering, and in digital and cyber security, the University of Illinois is uniquely positioned to develop a national center for digital instrumentation and control, and for cyber security for nuclear-specific applications.

Research Goals

Work is already underway in NPRE on the development of a test bed to simulate cyber-attacks at a nuclear power plant, and CSL has recently acquired a state-of -the-art fault tolerant controller based on a Triple-Modular Redundant (TMR) architecture. The goal is to marry the expertise available at NPRE and CSL (and in other parts of the college and campus) to develop a center for digital (control) and cyber security for nuclear-specific applications

As a leader in this important research area, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will host an international cyber security symposium to bring together a select group of experts and visionaries—experts from academia, regulatory agencies, national labs, utilities, industry and other R&D organizations—to identify challenges and future directions in the fields of risk and safety of digital I&C, cyber security, human machine interface, and socio-technical risks in nuclear engineering.