A-13 had previously blogged on it, so here is the link to that post.
I took some time to read up on it today.
First some background for those who may not be aware of what Stuxnet is and who the two nations were behind it's creation. I have a number of posts on the worm, you can find them here and here.
If you don't want to take the time to read those posts, very quickly, Israel and the US created Stuxnet to attack Iran's nuclear power station. The worm allegedly went "wild" and made it's way to China. I question that premise! Honestly, I can easily see China being an intended target of this type of cyber attack. The West (US/UK/Israel) or as I call them the NATO allies have China's demise on their mind. But, story for another day!
It was reported that Stuxnet had shown up in Japan. You can find that here. Quoting from this article-
"Stuxnet, a computer virus designed to attack servers isolated from the Internet, such as at power plants, has been confirmed on 63 personal computers in Japan since July, according to major security firm Symantec Corp.
The virus does not cause any damage online, but once it enters an industrial system, it can send a certain program out of control.
Symantec says the virus reaches the servers via USB memory sticks, and warns against the careless use of such devices.
Systems at power plants, gas stations and water facilities are not connected to the Internet to protect them from cyber-attacks."
According to this article power plants are not connected to the Internet to protect them from cyber attack. If this reporting is accurate the power plants could not have been infected via the internet.
But there is another twist to this story. Security at Fukushima was set up by an Israeli firm.
The system includes cameras and a warning system, enabling the facility's security staff to monitor anyone attempting to trespass onto the site or damage the perimeter fence.
So, a connection can definitely be made between potential Israeli espionage and the Fukushima power plant. But, why would they do it? What is the gain? I am not sure.
My first problem with the Stuxnet/Fukushima connection is the age of the reactors in Japan. These are old reactors in Japan, the Mark 1, is forty plus years old? Would these reactors contain the same components that Stuxnet is designed to target, components that the newer reactors in Iran and China would contain? I don't know? If anyone does know, feel free to share your thoughts.
My second problem is GE or TEPCO could be held less accountable, or not accountable at all, for their part in what will be the worst nuclear disaster this planet has seen to date. Tales of Stuxnet worm infections could get them off the hook, so to speak. They do not deserve to be off the hook! Stuxnet or not, bad management, lax safety and nuclear power as a whole are still the bigger issues.
hook + worm =hookworm (pun intended)
But, if there is a connection between Stuxnet and the Fukushima disaster , it is pretty tenuous.
I am not saying impossible, I am just saying not absolutely convincing.
For reasons I will expand upon below-
As I mentioned in this post, the Mark 1 plant had all kinds of clearly defined problems, known and documented in the '70's
Then the numerous safety infractions at the plants, you know cost-cutting. Some of that is covered in this article Bungling, cover-ups define Japanese nuclear power
Past nuclear accidents-
In 1999, fuel-reprocessing workers were reported to be using stainless steel buckets to hand-mix uranium in flagrant violation of safety standards at the Tokaimura plant. Two workers later died
— At least 37 workers were exposed to low doses of radiation at a 1997 fire and explosion at a nuclear reprocessing plant operated in Tokaimura, northeast of Tokyo. The operator, Donen, later acknowledged it had initially suppressed information about the fire.
— Hundreds of people were exposed to radiation and thousands evacuated in the more serious 1999 Tokaimura accident involving JCO Co. The government assigned the accident a level 4
— In 2007, a powerful earthquake ripped into Japan’s northwest coast, killing at least eight people and causing malfunctions at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power plan
In one case, Tepco's 17 nuclear reactors were temporarily shut down after it admitted in 2002 that it had falsified inspection findings and covered up serious flaws for 16 years. The company's president and four other executives resigned after the news became public.
In 2004, Kansai Electric's officials at the Mihama plant conceded they had not acted on safety warnings before a corroded pipe burst, spewing superheated steam that killed four workers. (The steam was not radioactive.)
It wasn't until 2007 that Hokuriku Electric Power Co. revealed that its Shika nuclear plant had a critical accident in 1999.
Typical corporate capitalist type stuff. Cover up, lie, fabricate, obfuscate, cut corners all in the name of maximizing profits.
Reviewing whole scenario-
Poorly built (cost cutting), aging nuclear reactors + numerous previous safety violation + multiple previous nuclear accidents + earthquake + tsunami = massive disaster!
That all said, can I rule out an attack by Stuxnet? With the limited information available? No. What I can say for certain is with all the other variables mentioned above, and all the problems with nuclear power in general. Fukushima was a disaster just waiting for a catalyst, and it had any number of them, Stuxnet aside.