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Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism
Special-Purpose Sensor and Monitoring Systems
Oil or gas systems might be shut down for months or even years if particular critical processing units are damaged. Most refineries have capable perimeter security, while pipelines have only minimal security. In either case, there is a risk that intruders could gain access and detonate an explosive near critical equipment. New high-sensitivity devices for detecting explosive material need to be developed for use in oil and gas environments. Used in combination with communication and control systems, such devices could alert remote operators to a threat and the need to take mitigating steps. This research could be managed by DOE and should draw on current sensor-development work in universities and the national laboratories. Industry-unique issues could be integrated into this R&D, perhaps through such industry groups as the National Petroleum Council.
An alternative to the installation of many fixed-position sensors and support systems would be the use of robotic units with intelligence that could prowl the production units, testing for potential signs of attack. These robotic units could also make good use of video and manipulator systems to allow personnel to examine a suspicious object without risk of exposure. Robotics is further covered in Chapter 11.
Holistic Simulation and Operating Models
Oil and gas operations models need improvements to handle the threat of terrorist attacks. Holistic models should be developed that incorporate the complexity of interdependent systems (water and electricity, for example) and systemwide vulnerabilities to the newly recognized terrorism threat (see Recommendation 6.15). These models could improve the analysis of system vulnerability to attack and indicate (as well as expedite) the appropriate responses should an attack occur. Integrated multisensor warning systems (MWS) should be developed that would recognize unanticipated activities and provide real-time information to the holistic operating models.
Recommendation 6.19: Integrated multisensor warning systems (MWS) should be developed for the oil and gas industries in order to enhance response, control, and postevent analysis. These MWS would recognize unanticipated activities and provide information to new, holistic operating models.
Advanced control systems would take instructions from these holistic operations models to mitigate the consequences of an attack; for example, control equipment might isolate critical components of the network or reduce the volume of the hydrocarbon or chemical released. The modeling of individual facilities would best be conducted by the oil and gas industries themselves. The develop-