CHALK RIVER, Ontario, May 16, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that it has cut the ribbon on its National Innovation Centre for Cybersecurity at Knowledge Park in Fredericton, NB, officially opening the doors on a brand new, multi-million dollar research facility that represents a major addition to Canada’s national cyber security capabilities. A number of local dignitaries and elected officials joined the Honourable Brian Gallant, Premier of New Brunswick, to celebrate the new centre, which joins a growing list of facilities and investments that are transforming the province into a cyber security research and innovation hub.

With the support of the Province of New Brunswick and Opportunities New Brunswick, CNL also announced that it would be adding up to 24 new highly-skilled employees to work at the centre in the next five years, and will invest over $3 million in new equipment and infrastructure upgrades. CNL has identified cyber security research as one of seven strategic initiatives the company plans to pursue as part of its Long-Term Strategy, an ambitious 10-year plan which will position the organization as a global leader in nuclear science and technology.

“The security of industrial control systems has become a major priority for all industries, including nuclear, and now represents a multi-billion dollar worldwide market,” commented Mark Lesinski, CNL’s President and CEO. “To ensure the integrity and security of these systems, organizations must have access to state-of-the-art facilities where they can test them in controlled environments. Today, CNL opened a new facility that offers customers this capability, with the full support of our world-leading experts in industrial control systems and security.”

While there is a large commercial industry catering to the cyber security of business and information technology systems, the cyber security of industrial control systems has been widely overlooked. Yet, this critical sector has shown vulnerabilities, with recent attacks on the Ukraine power grid in 2015 and 2016, a German steel mill in 2014, and the well-known Stuxnet attack in 2010. With its proficiency in this area, CNL is well positioned to fill this void, and to expand its capabilities into more conventional industries.

The new centre will provide CNL with the ability to simulate an operating facility in its entirety, then introduce almost any variable a researcher chooses. This will allow CNL to test how the security systems of entire operations respond to anything from a full scale cyber-attack, to a simple software upgrade.  With this capability, CNL can help customers find vulnerabilities in their security systems before they become an issue, and without having to disrupt the operation of their facility.

“Every year, the instruments, controls, and monitors that keep Canada’s most valuable energy assets running smoothly become more automated,” added Lesinski. “This transformation offers tremendous benefits to Canadians, but it also presents new risks to the country’s energy grid and other major infrastructure. CNL’s National Innovation Centre for Cyber Security can help organizations address these vulnerabilities, ensuring the critical facilities and systems that drive the Canadian economy are properly protected.”

“Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is very pleased to be supporting CNL’s National Innovation Centre for Cyber Security,” added Richard Sexton, President & CEO of AECL. “We are investing in new infrastructure, and building the research and development capabilities to support the needs of the federal government and industry. By bringing together expertise, funding and capabilities, we are supporting Canada’s objective to ensure the security and prosperity of Canadians and our infrastructure.”

A key element to the growth of CNL will be the Province of New Brunswick’s vibrant cybersecurity ecosystem, which has grown into a world-class cybersecurity cluster of world-leading experts, academics and international companies, providing CNL with collaboration and partnership opportunities to grow its cyber security businesses. CNL has maintained research and development facilities for real-time plant display and control systems since the 1980s. Evolving with technology, CNL has adapted and developed cutting edge cyber security technologies and practices, most recently developing and commercializing a safety-qualified plant display system for mission critical applications that has installations in nuclear power plants internationally.

For more information on CNL, including its capabilities in cyber security, please visit www.cnl.ca.

About CNL

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally.

With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity.

For more information on the complete range of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories services, please visit www.cnl.ca or contact communications@cnl.ca.


Contact:
Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications
CNL, 1-866-886-2325

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://resource.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/228f5521-e41a-43a0-a005-0b2328eec0ab