Nuclear Regulatory Commission urges AmerenUE, other nuclear plants to switch to broadband Internet

Monday, October 26, 2009 | 11:27 a.m. CDT

FULTON — Many homes and businesses have long since upgraded to broadband Internet, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission wants nuclear plants in Missouri and elsewhere to do the same.

KMOX Radio in St. Louis on Monday cited an NRC memo to AmerenUE and other nuclear plants urging the upgrade. The move would be voluntary, but regulators called dial-up "obsolete."

But Ameren spokesman Tim Fox said the current system in place "works and works well." He said Ameren is concerned that with broadband, hackers might find a way into the system.

KMOX said regulators' biggest fear is a busy signal in the event of a crisis. The commission memo said it would use a virtual private network that would create a secure data pathway between plants and NRC headquarters.

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