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LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK TWP. — The Salem Unit 2 nuclear plant remained shut down this afternoon following a problem with a reactor coolant pump, according to a spokesman for the plant’s operator.
Salem 2 automatically went offline Sunday at 6:01 p.m. when the coolant pump tripped, said Joe Delmar, spokesman for PSEG Nuclear.
When the pump shut down, the auxiliary pump system automatically started to provide water to cool the reactor.
The cause of the pump failure is still being investigated, according to Delmar. The plant functioned as designed, he said.
The plant remained in “hot shutdown” mode this afternoon
Stuxnet is a Microsoft Windows computer worm discovered in July 2010 that targets industrial software and equipment.
Though American and Israeli officials refuse to talk publicly about what goes on at Dimona, the operations there, as well as related efforts in the United States, are among the newest and strongest clues suggesting that the virus was designed as an American-Israeli project
(emphasize was mine)
A senior member of the technical staff at one of our nation's largest and most prestigious national research laboratories indicated that a significant number of the nuclear facilities in the U.S. have modernized the controls for those auxiliary systems, and are now employing Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs).
According to the source, at least one facility specifically uses Siemens PLCs, the same type attacked by Stuxnet at Natanz in Iran.
If both the primary and redundant cooling components at that nuclear facility used PLCs and were hit with a Stuxnet-type attack that was able to cause physical damage to the equipment - we might witness events similar to those which are now playing out in Japan.
Granted, a Stuxnet-type attack would not also destroy roads and other infrastructure, or divert emergency response resources to other concerns. But, as far as the problems with cooling the reactor core, the challenges would be inherently similar.