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Quantum Cryptography Demonstrated for Electric Grid Security

By - Source: Eurekalert | B 6 comments
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A team of scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory announced that it "successfully completed the first-ever demonstration of securing control data for electric grids using quantum cryptography."

According to the press release, single photons were employed to produce secure random numbers that served as cryptographic keys between users. These random numbers were used to authenticate and encrypt the grid control data and commands. The scientists stated that electric grids require "novel methods" to "accommodate new energy sources such as renewables whose availability can fluctuate."

According to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Quantum cryptography also allows energy providers to detect and "defeat an adversary" who may be trying to disrupt energy supply. The technology is largely based on a newly developed miniaturized QC transmitter that supports strong security assurances with low latencies (120 microseconds for a 25 km distance). The scientists said that their system could be deployed with only a single optical fiber to carry the quantum, single-photon communications signals; data packets; and commands.

The research team stated that it is currently seeking funding to develop a next-generation transmitter that is smaller and better suited for mass-production.

 

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  • 3 Hide
    COLGeek , February 25, 2013 6:44 PM
    I would imagine very few backdoors for such a technology. Even if they existed, it would be nearly impossible to bypass these methods. Very interesting work here.
  • 1 Hide
    merikafyeah , February 25, 2013 8:09 PM
    Quote:
    "accommodate new energy sources such as renewables whose availability can fluctuate."

    Whatever it is, it's not as good as thorium. Nothing in the universe could give you more clean and plentiful energy like nuclear can, and liquid flouride thorium reactors (LFTRs) are the best form of nuclear energy.

    Try to think of anything bad about nuclear energy and I can guarantee that it's related to uranium heavy water and light water reactors (HWR/LWR). LFTRs are the exact opposite of HWR/LWRs in almost every single way imaginable. LFTRs are immune to meltdowns and are as close to maximum efficiency as allowed by physics, whereas HWR/LWRs are actually in a constant state of controlled meltdown just waiting to go out of hand, and have an efficiency of LESS than 1%. No that's not a typo and no you didn't misread. It's so low it's practically a bad joke, only it's too sad to be funny.

    This video has everything a layperson could possibly need to know about thorium:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbucAwOT2Sc

    If you're one of those people who still think that solar and wind power actually have a chance, you need to have a closer look at the figures. Solar will always be way too costly to ever be implemented on a large scale (nationally and globally). Wind power relies on neodymium, a rare earth element, and the success of the rare earth mining industry relies on the success of thorium reactors which use the byproducts of rare earth mining as fuel.

    China already has a rare earth monopoly, and China will soon complete it's own fleet of LFTRs which are in fact being built as we speak, all the while using the U.S.'s own research conducted over 30 years ago but was never implemented on a larger scale due to politics and just plain stupidity and ignorance. But at least the world can breathe easy knowing that the world's most populated nation is heading away from oil power, since I doubt the Earth can handle another oil guzzler the size of the U.S.
  • 0 Hide
    wdmfiber , February 25, 2013 10:39 PM
    merikafyeahWhatever it is, it's not as good as thorium. Nothing in the universe could give you more clean and plentiful energy like nuclear can, and liquid flouride thorium reactors (LFTRs) are the best form of nuclear energy. Try to think of anything bad about nuclear energy and I can guarantee that it's related to uranium heavy water and light water reactors (HWR/LWR). LFTRs are the exact opposite of HWR/LWRs in almost every single way imaginable. LFTRs are immune to meltdowns and are as close to maximum efficiency as allowed by physics, whereas HWR/LWRs are actually in a constant state of controlled meltdown just waiting to go out of hand, and have an efficiency of LESS than 1%. No that's not a typo and no you didn't misread. It's so low it's practically a bad joke, only it's too sad to be funny.This video has everything a layperson could possibly need to know about thorium:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbucAwOT2ScIf you're one of those people who still think that solar and wind power actually have a chance, you need to have a closer look at the figures. Solar will always be way too costly to ever be implemented on a large scale (nationally and globally). Wind power relies on neodymium, a rare earth element, and the success of the rare earth mining industry relies on the success of thorium reactors which use the byproducts of rare earth mining as fuel.China already has a rare earth monopoly, and China will soon complete it's own fleet of LFTRs which are in fact being built as we speak, all the while using the U.S.'s own research conducted over 30 years ago but was never implemented on a larger scale due to politics and just plain stupidity and ignorance. But at least the world can breathe easy knowing that the world's most populated nation is heading away from oil power, since I doubt the Earth can handle another oil guzzler the size of the U.S.

    lol, I think the article flew right over your head!

    Example:
    If there is a large wind farm generating power and the wind stops, the grid has to react. Perhaps a coal plant will have to be "reved up". So there is communication involed. The communication should be encrypted so a hacker can't mess with the system and take the grid down. Prersent day encryption is plenty strong. However it is hard to constantly make new keys(think passwords, if that's easier). Something truly random that can't be copied and on a large scale. Hense... this idea of using single photons to generate random numbers.
  • 0 Hide
    soundping , February 25, 2013 10:53 PM
    "Made in China"
  • 1 Hide
    stevo777 , February 26, 2013 12:22 AM
    merikafyeahWhatever it is, it's not as good as thorium. Nothing in the universe could give you more clean and plentiful energy like nuclear can, and liquid flouride thorium reactors (LFTRs) are the best form of nuclear energy. Try to think of anything bad about nuclear energy and I can guarantee that it's related to uranium heavy water and light water reactors (HWR/LWR). LFTRs are the exact opposite of HWR/LWRs in almost every single way imaginable. LFTRs are immune to meltdowns and are as close to maximum efficiency as allowed by physics, whereas HWR/LWRs are actually in a constant state of controlled meltdown just waiting to go out of hand, and have an efficiency of LESS than 1%. No that's not a typo and no you didn't misread. It's so low it's practically a bad joke, only it's too sad to be funny.This video has everything a layperson could possibly need to know about thorium:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbucAwOT2ScIf you're one of those people who still think that solar and wind power actually have a chance, you need to have a closer look at the figures. Solar will always be way too costly to ever be implemented on a large scale (nationally and globally). Wind power relies on neodymium, a rare earth element, and the success of the rare earth mining industry relies on the success of thorium reactors which use the byproducts of rare earth mining as fuel.China already has a rare earth monopoly, and China will soon complete it's own fleet of LFTRs which are in fact being built as we speak, all the while using the U.S.'s own research conducted over 30 years ago but was never implemented on a larger scale due to politics and just plain stupidity and ignorance. But at least the world can breathe easy knowing that the world's most populated nation is heading away from oil power, since I doubt the Earth can handle another oil guzzler the size of the U.S.


    Though it may be slightly aside of the true topic, which is cool, Thorium does need to be pressed into the public consciousness. I've been following the tech for a while, and it is very cool, and long overdue. Here is an interesting pros and cons article on the subject. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/04/liquid-fluoride-thorium-power-pros-cons/
  • 0 Hide
    merikafyeah , February 26, 2013 3:08 PM
    stevo777Though it may be slightly aside of the true topic, which is cool, Thorium does need to be pressed into the public consciousness. I've been following the tech for a while, and it is very cool, and long overdue. Here is an interesting pros and cons article on the subject. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/0 [...] pros-cons/

    That article has some pretty significant inaccuracies and many points that need clarification.
    For example in the pros/cons section:

    Quote:
    Requires less cooling water than conventional reactors

    Molten salt reactors don't need ANY water for cooling. That's what the molten salt is for.

    Quote:
    Non-renewable fuel

    Non-issue. Thorium can easily last us the next 3000 years and beyond. This is in conjunction with all the other fuel sources available to us like hydroelectric and geothermal. Even if the entire planet were to run completely on thorium alone there would still be enough to last about 500 years.

    Quote:
    Still produces hazardous waste (though far less)

    Most of the waste produced can actually be thrown back in as fuel. The miniscule amount that absolutely cannot be reused will only be radioactive for less than 500 years as opposed to the hundreds of thousands of years of other nuclear fuel.

    Quote:
    Can still facilitate proliferation of nuclear weapons

    Wrong. MSRs can't produce ANY nuclear weapons by design, which was why the U.S. military wasn't so keen to adopt. They wanted nuclear weapons and they weren't going to get any with the MSR. Though that was extremely short-sighted of them. I would rather have a fleet of nuclear bombers than hundreds of nuclear bombs that will most likely never be used except for averting a possible K-2 event.
    People don't realize just how small a thorium reactor can be. It was originally conceived to fit on a bomber which can stay in the air for months at a time. Imagine a fleet of flying fortresses. That's how great the U.S. could've been. The military has no vision.

    Quote:
    Technology not ready for prime time yet

    Ahem. Sure, let's all ignore the reactor that was operational for FIVE YEARS, but was shut down for PURELY POLITICAL reasons. It worked great while it was up. If five years of uptime is not enough to convince the author of "readiness for prime time" I don't know what will. Keep in mind this was over 30 years ago. Imagine how advanced it would be today had development not halted.
    Had Obama not wasted billions of dollars on solar and wind there could've been several thorium reactors in the U.S. that would be operational around this time. Again, no vision.