Nuclear regulators have stepped up their monitoring of French power giant EDF amid concerns about cyber security.
The UK’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has put the company under “enhanced attention” after finding “shortfalls” in its cyber security plans, The Telegraph can reveal.
French state-owned EDF owns and runs the UK’s nuclear power fleet. It is also building the UK’s first new nuclear power station in a generation, Hinkley Point C in Somerset, with its minority Chinese partner CGN.
Cyber security is of heightened concern nationally amid Russia’s war on Ukraine. Russia has been blamed for cyber attacks which disrupted windfarms in Europe on the eve of its invasion and security officials have called on British organisations to bolster their defences.
In a blog post last week, Dr Marsha Quallo-Wright, deputy director for Private Sector Critical National Infrastructure at the National Cyber Security Centre, said “now is not the time for complacency” despite no significant cyber attacks on UK organisations since Russia’s invasion.
“The absence of successful cyber attacks doesn’t equate to a change in adversary capability or intent; indeed it may be evidence that our additional cyber defences are working effectively,” she said.
The ONR has stepped up monitoring of EDF following a string of routine inspections over the past 12 months, during which it said it “identified shortfalls in governance, risk and compliance and certain technical controls”.
EDF said the shortfalls related to cyber security. A spokesman added: “EDF works in very close partnership with the National Cyber Security Centre and some joint studies with them identified some areas for improvement, such as in risk awareness.
“We are constantly striving to improve security and work with various bodies, including the ONR, to achieve this. The cyber threat is a constantly evolving area and we want to stay ahead of the threat.”
EDF is currently upgrading IT systems and a reorganisation of teams in charge of the physical security of plants contributed to the enhanced monitoring.
The company’s nuclear fleet includes plants in Torness, Scotland; Suffolk, Somerset, Lancashire and Hartlepool. They generated about 18pc of Britain’s power last year.