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Ransomwared Nuclear Power Plants Upwind of Major U.S. Cities

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          June 6, 2021

On the 77th anniversary of D-Day, in memory of those who actually fought and died to protect America.

As I emailed to news outlets in the major cities downwind of the very possibly ransomwared nuclear power plants, in summary of U.S. Surrenders in IT War, Starts Paying Tribute to Russia:
You are aware of the Russian-backed hacking and ransomwaring of Colonial Pipeline and the devastating effect on the south and east coast.

The Colonial Pipeline executive responsible for allowing this is IT incompetent Chief Information Officer (CIO) Marie Mouchet, whose only education is as an elementary school teacher. Before she became Colonial Pipeline CIO several years ago she was CIO for Southern Nuclear, which operates three nuclear power plants (currently two reactors each):

1. Vogtle, near Augusta GA and upwind of Savannah GA, Columbia SC, and Charleston SC.
2. Hatch, near Baxley GA and upwind of Savannah GA and Jacksonville FL.
3. Farley, along GA's southwestern border with AL (near Dothan AL) and upwind of Tallahassee FL.

Marie Mouchet was replaced as Southern Nuclear's CIO by Martin Davis, who also has no IT education so is IT incompetent; he only has a bachelor's degree in business administration. Obviously neither is any match for Russian hackers, or any other hackers for that matter.

If a nuclear power plant is hacked into, a meltdown like Chernobyl could be caused, and the Russians are eager to prove that they are not the only country capable of such a deadly disaster.
You should know about the following three nuclear power plant accidents, but may not given the incompetence of the media and the educational system:

1. Three Mile Island — in Pennsylvania, upwind of Philadelphia; accident started March 1979.
2. Chernobyl — in Ukraine, formerly the USSR (Russia), upwind of Kiev, capital of Ukraine; disaster started April 1986.
3. Fukushima Daiichi — in Japan, on the island of Honshu, where Tokyo is; disaster started March 2011.

I took a course in strategic nuclear war, particularly mathematically modeling one, when I was at MIT getting my B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. This required learning about radioactive fallout and the effects of radiation on humans. Later I did climate modeling on supercomputers. This required getting a graduate degree in meteorology, which is what you need to know for fallout.

A nuclear power plant, specifically one of its reactors in its iconic containment dome, can't explode like a nuclear bomb, but can be just as deadly as far as spreading radiation is concerned. A nuclear power plant is the ultimate "dirty bomb".

The most important thing about nuclear power plants is cooling them. That's why they are almost always built near rivers, lakes, or oceans, instead of in the middle of deserts, away from population centers. A nuclear power plant's iconic cooling towers, with steam coming out, do not mean the reactors are air cooled.

If the cooling fails in a nuclear power plant, the reactor's fuel rods, which contain radioactive uranium metal, generate enough heat to melt themselves. Once this "meltdown" begins, the uranium can melt through the nuclear power plant floor, into the earth — including the groundwater table — metaphorically all the way to China; hence the name the China Syndrome (apparently coincidentally, the movie The China Syndrome opened in March 1979, twelve days before the Three Mile Island nuclear accident).

When a meltdown occurs, much high-pressure steam and explosive gases (e.g. hydrogen), carrying highly radioactive particles, are generated. Despite its name, the "containment dome" above a nuclear reactor cannot contain these. At best they would have to be vented into the atmosphere and at worst the containment dome would blow apart, more forcefully venting them into the atmosphere.

Once in the atmosphere, this highly radioactive cloud can be carried hundreds of miles by the wind before falling out ... over major cities. Most places have prevailing winds, the average direction of the wind over the year. In the northern mid-latitudes, where most nuclear power plants are, the prevailing wind is from the west ("westerlies"), carrying to the east. However, weather systems during the year can cause the winds to go north, south, or even west of the nuclear power plant.

Radiation sickness is horrible. You would be lucky to get Ebola and bleed out of every orifice instead. Coronavirus should not even be mentioned in the same article with either of them (I do so here only for illustrative purposes). Even if you survive the radiation sickness or don't even get it, there is a very good chance you will get cancer later and die horribly from that. If the greatly overexaggerated claims about how deadly coronavirus is scared you, you should be terrified to death about the very real deadliness of radiation from a nuclear power plant meltdown.

Fukushima Daiichi is on the east coast of Japan, next to the Pacific, and the large amount of radiation from it was carried east out over the Pacific ocean. Otherwise many more would have been hurt by the radiation. (To greatly reduce the number of lives lost in World War II in the Pacific, nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The Japanese are thus keenly aware of how deadly nuclear radiation is. I lived in Japan for three years.)

The even greater radiation from Chernobyl was carried hundreds of miles even to the west of it, causing many cancer deaths, besides the radiation sickness deaths nearer to it.

The radiation from Three Mile Island was relatively small, or Philadelphia would have been greatly affected.

If a nuclear power plant computer system is hacked into, a meltdown can be caused. All parts of a nuclear power plant are controlled by a computer system, especially since humans can't even be near many of these parts. If hackers "own" the computer system of a nuclear power plant, they can cause a meltdown by turning off the all-important cooling system.

This hacking may already have secretly happened. The Russians, or any other of America's enemies less IT incompetent than it is — all of them — may be just waiting for a good reason to use, and thus expose, this power. See Handing Over America's Electrical Grid to the Russians.

Once hacked, ransomware could be installed on the nuclear power plant computer system, just as it was for Colonial Pipeline. The hackers could demand a ransom of many billions of dollars and still be ensured of being paid by the U.S., which was willing to pay Russian hackers millions for just the ransomwaring of Colonial Pipeline. See U.S. Surrenders in IT War, Starts Paying Tribute to Russia.

Chernobyl was in what used to be called Russia (USSR, which broke up in 1991) when that deadly disaster occurred, and still most Americans make no distinction between Russia and the Ukraine. Chernobyl was and still is a huge embarrassment to the Russians, making them seem like a technically incompetent country. There can be no comparison with Three Mile Island for the U.S. The Russians even today are eager to prove that they are not the only country capable of such a deadly disaster.

(Interestingly, one cause of Three Mile Island was IT incompetent bad programming — the computer system user interface, which is what a website is, did not make it clear to the nuclear power plant operators, themselves incompetent, that there was a loss of coolant.)

The Chief Information Officer (CIO) of a nuclear power plant, or any other company, is the civilian official responsible for stopping hackers. As explained in U.S. Surrenders in IT War, Starts Paying Tribute to Russia and summarized above, the IT incompetent — only trained as an elementary school teacher — but diverse CIO of ransomwared Colonial Pipeline, Marie Mouchet , used to be CIO for Southern Nuclear. Mouchet was replaced by IT incompetent — only has a bachelor's degree in business administration — but diverse Martin Davis as CIO of Southern Nuclear. Neither of them has any chance of stopping any hackers. Southern Nuclear will be hacked just like Colonial Pipeline was, and probably already secretly has been.

The CIO of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is the government official responsible for stopping nuclear power plant hackers. The NRC is an independent agency of the federal government responsible for the safety and security of nuclear power plants. The NRC may have been hacked in The Doomsday Microsoft Government Email Data Breach or Doomsday II: The Massive Microsoft Email Data Breach Sequel.

The CIO of the NRC is, for the last 5 years, David Nelson , who is IT incompetent. Nelson only has a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. Not only is that not an IT education, but it is no education at all. The University of Phoenix is a notorious for-profit scam university providing worthless educations, even to those few 17% who do graduate. The federal government will no longer, after wasting well over a billion dollars, provide educational loans to those attending the University of Phoenix, whose only purpose is to get these loans. So, David Nelson, the CIO of the NRC, responsible for stopping nuclear power plant hackers, who could kill millions, has no college education; it is not even clear he has a high school diploma.

The media is responsible for warning the public. That's the only reason for the freedom of the press clause in the First Amendment (which, as many are not aware, has other just as important clauses). There are no rights without responsibilities. I sent the email at the beginning of this article to news outlets in the major cities near or within about 100 miles downwind of Southern Nuclear power plants. None responded.

Not only is this because the media is IT incompetent, and doesn't understand the dangers, but particularly for those news outlets near Southern Nuclear power plants, like The Augusta Chronicle and Augusta's WRDW TV, they are being paid off with ad money from Southern Nuclear. Further, fearmongering with coronavirus has been hugely profitable for the media, and they are unwilling to move on even after the Coronavirus Scare is over due to the vaccine. And of course there is always celebrity news and "if it bleeds, it leads" news.

Southern Nuclear, the NRC, and any other company or government agency who does not want to kill Americans and be destroyed by IT incompetency should hire Apscitu Inc. to consult on IT security.