Demand for clean and resilient energy has led to new and advancing frontiers of energy development in nuclear technology, specifically in the development of microreactors. These miniaturised modular reactors are generally < 20 megawatts thermal (MWt) or 10 megawatts electric (MWe) and offer new opportunities to meet energy needs in remote locations and mobile operations. As with the slightly larger small modular reactors (< 300 MWe), microreactor development must demonstrate security and safety, as well as economic competitiveness, to be seen as potential opportunities for new applications. Current research focuses on passive safety features, capital costs, reliability, semi-autonomous or autonomous control, cyber informed design, digital twins and non-proliferation. This paper focuses specifically on microreactor cyber informed design and cyber risk. An overview of microreactor technology provides a basis for examining the cyber nuclear playing field, with an emphasis on the USA. Frameworks for evaluating cyber security threats, and thereby designing for them, are reviewed. Recommendations follow with ideas for future research.
This document was originally published in Cyber Security: A Peer-Reviewed Journal by Henry Stewart Publications, LLP. Copyright restrictions may apply.
Sabharwall, Piyush; Gibb, James; Ritter, Christopher; Araújo, Kathleen; Gupta, Abhinav; Ferguson, Ian; Rolston, Bri; Fisher, Ron; Gehin, Jess; and Ballout, Youssef. (2021). "Cyber Security for Microreactors in Advanced Energy Systems". Cyber Security: A Peer-Reviewed Journal, 4(4), 345-367.