On June 7, 2018, FERC and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) held a joint meeting to discuss grid reliability and cyber security (see May 23, 2014 edition of the WER). Commissioners from FERC and the NRC attended the meeting.
FERC and NRC Commissioners received several presentations. In the first presentation, Mark Lauby, the President and Chief Reliability Officer of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”), briefed the FERC and NRC commissioners on the current status of grid reliability. Mr. Lauby reported an overall improvement in reliability and identified inverter disconnects during transmission disturbances as an emerging risk that NERC is addressing.
Next, FERC and NRC Staff made presentations focused on grid reliability, nuclear power plants, and coordinating efforts between FERC and the NRC. Part of the discussion involved the recent announcement by FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre of a Joint Memorandum of Understanding between FERC and the NRC for the identification and protection of information within the agencies’ possession that might be considered Critical Energy/Electric Infrastructure Information. In addition, FERC Staff updated the FERC and NRC Commissioners on the status of FERC’s recently proposed resiliency proceeding to examine the resilience of Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators (see January 17, 2018 edition of the WER). FERC Staff noted that they are still in the process of reviewing the 150 reply comments that were filed by the May 9, 2018 deadline (see March 27, 2018 edition of the WER). In addition, NRC Staff presented background information on NRC/FERC/NERC interactions and the NRC’s nuclear power plant licensing and decommissioning processes. FERC Staff also reported on the FERC-NERC Regional Entity Joint Review of Restoration and Recovery plans.
The final presentations from FERC and NRC Staff focused on cyber security. FERC Staff reviewed FERC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding supply chain risk management Reliability Standards and to several new Emergency Preparedness and Operations Reliability Standards (see January 24, 2018 edition of the WER). In the final presentation, NRC Staff discussed NRC’s cyber security initiatives, including the full implementation of cyber security requirements for the nuclear power industry.