Department of Atomic Energy Current Affairs - 2020

Malware detected in NPCIL system, isolated

As per Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), a malware was identified in state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) system at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP), Tamil Nadu. The matter was conveyed to the DAE by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) on 4 September 2019 and was immediately investigated by DAE specialists.

Key Highlights

The identification of malware in NPCIL system was correct but the affected system was not connected to plant system. Thus NPCIL plant systems are not affected and networks are being continuously monitored.

The DAE specialists’ investigation revealed that infected PC belonged to a user who was connected in internet connected network used for administrative purposes and it is isolated from critical internal network of NPCIL system. The networks are now being continuously monitored. Investigation also confirmed that plant systems are not affected.

About Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP)

It is located 650km south of Chennai, in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu. It is being developed by Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL). The NPCIL works under the DAE, which in turn comes under purview of prime minister’s office (PMO).

Kudankulam is one of the leading operational nuclear plants of India. Atomstroyexport, is the supplier of equipment and fuels for the nuclear power project. It is a subsidiary of Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation Rosatom.

Its unit-1 and unit-2 are already operational and connected to grid while Unit-3 and unit-4 are being constructed with help of Russia and preparatory work for construction of unit-5 and unit-6 is under process. At present India has 22 nuclear reactors in operation in 7 nuclear plants, having a total installed capacity of 6,780 MW and has another 21 reactors in various stages of construction and development.

India, Argentina Sign MoU for Co-Operation in Nuclear Energy

During the visit of Argentine President Mauricio Macri, Argentina has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost cooperation in the sector of nuclear energy. The MoU signed was signed between the Department of Atomic Energy, India and National Atomic Energy Commission, Argentina.

Features of the MoU

  • Argentina has expertise in building small-capacity reactors and it is looking to work with India in some third country in tripartite projects.
  • The MoU for cooperation within the framework of Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership would bolster institutional linkages in civil nuclear research, development and capacity building.
  • The MoU will aid in enhancing and exploring cooperative ventures in the area of nuclear power and its societal uses in health, agriculture, industrial application, training and capacity building.

Nuclear Ties between India and Argentina

In the year 2010 India and Argentina had signed an agreement for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

INVAP which is an Argentinean Company is working on the Fission Molly Project to build a molybdenum plant in Mumbai. The plant would primarily focus on creating isotopes. Argentina is also an exporter of some nuclear components used in Indian power reactors.