Enhancing Computer Security of Small Modular Reactors and Microreactors.

Open for proposals

Project Type

Coordinated Research Project

Project Code




Approved Date

6 December 2023


New - Collecting or Evaluating proposals


Small modular reactors (SMR) must be as safe and secure and as economically competitive as conventional nuclear power plants and other non-nuclear sources of energy. To ensure this, innovative designs are being considered which employ operating modes and digital technologies that are not currently widely used in the nuclear sector. Some proposed SMRs designs and operating modes may introduce novel technologies (disruptive, innovative, and emerging) and use increased digital automation, remote supervisory control, and centralised fleet management with reduced staffing. This requires that adequate computer security measures are considered and maintained during the entire lifetime of the SMR. This CRP will develop a network of international research institutions to assess and develop approaches, methodologies, technologies, and techniques related to computer security to increase the resilience of SMR to cyber-attacks.


The overall objective of this CRP is to assess and advance computer security for SMRs, considering safety, security, operational modes, emergency preparedness, human factors, novel technologies (disruptive, innovative, and emerging) and methodologies applied to I&C, physical protection systems, communications, network infrastructure, accountancy and control, and other associated systems. Innovative SMRs designs are being considered which employ operating modes and digital technologies that are not currently widely used in traditional NPP. These innovations have the potential to introduce computer security challenges, and the aspects such as the robustness of digital technologies against cyber-attacks; safe, secure, and resilient system architectures; supply chain security; human factors; and regulatory aspects should be addressed using a multidisciplinary approach.
Major aspects that need to be consider and explored are:
- Innovative concepts of operation such as autonomous, remote operations and fleet management.
- Innovative and disruptive digital technologies such as digital twins, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud computing, sensing technology, and advanced digital instrumentation and control.
- supply chain security.
- safety and security integration.
- regulatory aspects.
The CRP products will build capacity and encourage knowledge transfer, which will allow for better deployment and the application of the CRP’s findings.

Specific objectives

Research of methodologies and techniques to assess and implement computer security of computer-based systems to support the deployment and operation of SMRs.

Research of defensive computer security architectures and best practices for SMRs based upon concepts of operation and to provide defense in depth against compromise in a graded approach.

Research and evaluation of computer security with regards to novel technologies as well as the application and adaptation of current digital technologies for SMRs.

Research of computer security measures and guidelines for SMRs.

Research of computer security tools for training, exercises, and demonstrations.

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