5
Vulnerabilities Related to the People Who Run the Electric Power System

The employees and contractors who operate and support the U.S. power system have a remarkable record of dedicated and reliable service. However, just as physical substations, transmission lines, and information and communication systems can all be sources of vulnerability, so too, either inadvertently or intentionally, human activities can create or exacerbate disruptions in the operation of the transmission and distribution system.

It is obviously important to ensure that employees, contractors, and others who have access to critical physical assets and information systems are carefully and regularly screened for reliability. But, as with the other issues addressed in this report, it is also important to understand the broader context within which the issues of human reliability arise. Many jobs in the industry are becoming more technically demanding at the same time that the industry faces problems of an aging workforce, recruiting difficulties, and training needs that are among the most challenging of any major industrial sector.

In this chapter, the issue of ensuring the reliability of existing employees and contractors who have access to critical facilities is examined. Then, several broader issues are explored that complicate the problem of training high-quality staff and minimizing the chances that staff will inadvertently make mistakes that place the system at greater risk. Problems posed by the industry’s aging workforce and the declining pool of qualified new entrants are also examined. This is followed by some discussion of vulnerabilities that could arise from an accidental or intentionally introduced pandemic.

SECURITY THREATS FROM INSIDERS

Employees and contractors with legitimate reasons for access to the electric power system could do great harm should they ever decide to do so. Implicitly, such insiders have the capability to damage physical assets such as transformers and switch gear even more effectively than from attacks by outsiders. Great damage could also be done by system operators who intentionally took actions to place the system in vulnerable conditions. As noted in Chapter 1, disgruntled employees pose some risk but would typically be expected to operate alone. In contrast, one or several insiders working in conjunction with outsiders bent on inflicting major damage and disruption could likely do far more damage. While similar damage could also be done either directly or indirectly by contractors with access to utility equipment, a more subtle and troublesome concern is the possibility that contractor personnel who were charged with maintaining and updating critical software and intent on doing damage might insert “Trojan horses” or other destructive computer programs that could later become activated and wreak havoc in control systems at some future time.

Background security checks on all potential employees and periodic reviews of critical employees are essential. So, too, are such checks on all contractor personnel with direct or indirect access to critical elements of key physical or information and communication systems. Reviewing the quality of these security checks is also essential. Today, background checks are often outsourced to security service companies that begin the background checks as part of the initial employment process. Thorough, competent background checks must be conducted to ensure that electric utility personnel remain trustworthy and law abiding, with no links to terrorist organizations or criminal activity. Additionally, in today's environment, it is important that key employees have government security clearances so that they can work with and obtain intelligence information from government and law enforcement officials.

Standardized credentialing of utility and contractor personnel for security purposes is thus important and should utilize modern ID card technologies that use photographs, card readers, proximity access, and, where appropriate, RFID (radio frequency ID) capabilities. Standardized enterprise-wide credentials allow employees to function and gain access, in a manner that allows them to respond to a wide variety of incidents as well as to operate across a wide geographic area. While there has been much progress



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5 Vulnerabilities Related to the People Who Run the Electric Power System The employees and contractors who operate and support the system in vulnerable conditions. As noted in Chapter 1, the U.S. power system have a remarkable record of dedicated disgruntled employees pose some risk but would typically be and reliable service. However, just as physical substations, expected to operate alone. In contrast, one or several insid- transmission lines, and information and communication ers working in conjunction with outsiders bent on inflicting systems can all be sources of vulnerability, so too, either major damage and disruption could likely do far more dam- inadvertently or intentionally, human activities can create or age. While similar damage could also be done either directly exacerbate disruptions in the operation of the transmission or indirectly by contractors with access to utility equipment, and distribution system. a more subtle and troublesome concern is the possibility that It is obviously important to ensure that employees, con- contractor personnel who were charged with maintaining tractors, and others who have access to critical physical assets and updating critical software and intent on doing damage and information systems are carefully and regularly screened might insert "Trojan horses" or other destructive computer for reliability. But, as with the other issues addressed in this programs that could later become activated and wreak havoc report, it is also important to understand the broader context in control systems at some future time. within which the issues of human reliability arise. Many jobs Background security checks on all potential employees in the industry are becoming more technically demanding at and periodic reviews of critical employees are essential. So, the same time that the industry faces problems of an aging too, are such checks on all contractor personnel with direct or workforce, recruiting difficulties, and training needs that are indirect access to critical elements of key physical or infor- among the most challenging of any major industrial sector. mation and communication systems. Reviewing the quality In this chapter, the issue of ensuring the reliability of of these security checks is also essential. Today, background existing employees and contractors who have access to criti- checks are often outsourced to security service companies cal facilities is examined. Then, several broader issues are that begin the background checks as part of the initial explored that complicate the problem of training high-quality employment process. Thorough, competent background staff and minimizing the chances that staff will inadvertently checks must be conducted to ensure that electric utility per- make mistakes that place the system at greater risk. Problems sonnel remain trustworthy and law abiding, with no links to posed by the industry's aging workforce and the declining terrorist organizations or criminal activity. Additionally, in pool of qualified new entrants are also examined. This is fol- today's environment, it is important that key employees have lowed by some discussion of vulnerabilities that could arise government security clearances so that they can work with from an accidental or intentionally introduced pandemic. and obtain intelligence information from government and law enforcement officials. Standardized credentialing of utility and contractor per- SECURITY THREATS FROM INSIDERS sonnel for security purposes is thus important and should Employees and contractors with legitimate reasons for utilize modern ID card technologies that use photographs, access to the electric power system could do great harm card readers, proximity access, and, where appropriate, should they ever decide to do so. Implicitly, such insiders RFID (radio frequency ID) capabilities. Standardized have the capability to damage physical assets such as trans- enterprise-wide credentials allow employees to function formers and switch gear even more effectively than from and gain access, in a manner that allows them to respond attacks by outsiders. Great damage could also be done by to a wide variety of incidents as well as to operate across a system operators who intentionally took actions to place wide geographic area. While there has been much progress 48

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VULNERABILITIES RELATED TO THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THE ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEM 49 in background checks of operational and security personnel, and full field exercises. Training simulations and exercises there is still much work to be done in this area, both within such as these can: operating companies and in the contractor community. Provide insights into potential problem areas; Encourage a team approach to meeting security PLANNING, TRAINING, AND REHEARSAL challenges; Improve organizational teamwork; and Preparatory Activities Audit the status of security preparedness. The first important step to ensuring readiness in the face of unplanned events is by preparation through the planning First Responders process. The ability to identify key "what-if" scenarios and then develop the appropriate response plans to deal with It has sometimes proved important even in the aftermath such contingencies is the first key step in developing a com- of natural catastrophes to provide police protection for line prehensive emergency response plan. Once plans have been crews working to restore power systems.2 In the event of a developed, the next step is to test their effectiveness. The best terrorist action, restoration workers themselves may become way to accomplish this objective is through careful training targets. Workers on poles and towers and in open areas in and the use of drills and exercises. A well-constructed drill substations are particularly vulnerable, especially if the sur- can test the ability of personnel to respond to simulated real- rounding area is complex and offers cover in which it is easy life situations as well as test their understanding of the overall for assailants to go undetected. Further complications arise if plan. Well-designed drills test the ability of personnel to terrorist attacks involve chemical, radio nuclear, or biological understand their roles and responsibilities as well as test the agents. Workers must be able to determine if such an attack overall effectiveness of the plan in resolving the emergency has occurred, the nature and extent of contamination, and situation. Crucial elements for a successful exercise include what protective measures need to be taken before they can establishing clear objectives, providing realistic scenarios enter and work in an area where power system damage has that simulate real-life conditions, and establishing expected occurred. actions or outcomes. Perhaps the most valuable component Restoration of a system in the context of a crime scene, of a drill is an after-action review of the exercise. This allows as might be the case in a post-terrorist event, can also lead to for modifications to the plan to be discussed and imple- involvement by personnel from myriad local, state, and fed- mented and an opportunity to avoid the risk of overgeneral- eral law enforcement, security, and emergency agencies. In izing from the results of a specific scenario or exercise. As such situations, it is important to have previously established further discussed in Chapter 7, many drills should include lines of communication. Clear manuals to explain the assign- participants from outside local, state, and federal agencies. ment of first responders, the roles of assisting utility teams, There is also a need to reduce the vulnerability of key the jurisdiction of different law enforcement agencies, and workers to both conventional security threats (e.g., from the so forth can provide a presumptive roadmap for action. As use of firearms and explosive devices) and potential chemi- discussed in Chapter 7, carefully clarifying ahead of time the cal/biological attacks. Employees serving as first responders chain of command for restoration practices, for work rules, should be provided with chemical and biological awareness and for operational expectations on the ground will be very training. The scope of this training should include threat and helpful in promoting efficient recoveries during the stress of agent recognition, protection and first-aid training, personnel an actual terrorist event. protection equipment, detection and sensor equipment, and training in emergency decontamination procedures. ERRORS AND AUTOMATION Lastly, there is also a need for better and more realistic simulations and security training. While much has been The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) recently done by industry in the security training area, better and studied about 100 North American power outages that more frequent simulation and red-teaming security exercises occurred in recent years and concluded that 12 of them were will improve the readiness of security personnel.1 Dramatic attributable to human error, either by operators in control improvements in personnel readiness can result from intro- rooms or by maintenance workers in the field (EPRI, 2000).3 ducing a comprehensive security training program that systematically includes emergency notification exercises, 2For example, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina several line crews security training seminars, tabletop exercises, red-team were shot at before police protection was introduced. exercises, force-on-force exercises, command-post exercises, 3For example, improper maintenance of relays contributed to cascading events, thus worsening the New York City blackout in July 1977. Improper 1Red teaming is the use of a group of specialists to conduct a mock attack maintenance at a San Mateo substation triggered a December 8, 1998, on a power system. It is frequently used to test facility and cyber security blackout in the San Francisco Bay Area, which cascaded from San Mateo, strength against attack. It is intended to uncover vulnerabilities and weak- affecting 2 million people for up to 7 hours. Control room operator errors nesses and to assist in hardening the system. were a key factor in the Northeast blackout of August 2003.

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50 TERRORISM AND THE ELECTRIC POWER DELIVERY SYSTEM Similarly, the London blackout in August of 2003 has been labor). It allows for consistent and efficient work planning, attributed to an incorrect relay setting. optimized schedule and resource allocation, and facilitation Improved procedures and system designs can help avoid of unexpected changes, and it can be used for backlog man- errors. With good surveillance and training, many errors agement. It also integrates with the MMW. can be detected and corrected before they lead to problems. The degree of field information available to operators is But errors do happen. If they were to occur in the face of also an area of concern. In many cases, there is little feedback an unfolding terrorist attack, they could considerably com- from the maintenance crews to operations engineering and plicate an already serious situation. This prospect further design engineering personnel with regard to the actual work strengthens the importance of contingency planning, train- done during a maintenance task and the as-found condition ing, and simulated exercises. of the asset being maintained. Insufficient coordination and The explosion in available information has made attention communication among these various personnel can result time an extremely valuable commodity for all workers. Most in a lack of information that can lead to less than optimal automated networks require some human intervention not configurational control of the system and to incorrect deci- only for routine control, but also especially when exhibiting sion making in responding to a system alarm or failure. As anomalous behavior that may suggest actual or incipient one example of attempts to address this issue, ConEd is failure. Progress continues to be needed in the design of evaluating a hand-held reporting system that requires specific interfaces that help users retain good situational awareness feedback that can be uploaded to the work order management while allowing them to focus on the most important factors in system. Such a system could enable an operator to quickly a complex and rapidly evolving dynamic situation. Improved assess field work performed in evaluating the implications displays of the state of the electric power grid are being of an alarm. Despite the progress made to date in addressing installed in control centers (Christie and Mahadev, 1994, the shortcomings of automation and human performance, the Overbye and Weber, 2001), but there is room for a great deal following challenges remain: of imaginative innovation in this area. Humans have cognitive limitations that can cause them Application of statistical methods to extract infor- to make serious mistakes when they are interrupted. While mation and trending on human performance. These actual or imminent local failures can be detected automati- analytical techniques can be combined with enhanced cally, operators can easily be distracted by other tasks-- visualization and techniques to improve situational including responding to multiple systems warnings. In the awareness of the state of the system (perhaps using worst case, a detected failure can set off a multitude of multimedia user interfaces and virtual reality) to almost simultaneous alarms as it begins to cascade through assist the human operator. the system. Under this scenario, system operators may be Network visualization and situation awareness. The unable to accurately determine the real source of the prob- exact nature of the information needed by operators, lem, which in turn could lead to the whole network shutting managers, users, and the general public may vary, down automatically. but all need to understand what is going on in the In recent years, systems have been designed that allow infrastructure network. Adequate visualization of the users to delegate tasks to intelligent software assistants state of the system is required for situation awareness. ("softbots") that operate in the background, handling routine The proliferating new technology for multimedia tasks and informing the operators in accordance with some user interfaces, and for virtual reality in particular, protocol that establishes the level of their delegated author- needs to be evaluated and fitted into this context of ity to act independently. In this arrangement, the operator human performance. Such technology also should be becomes a supervisor, who must either cede almost all incorporated into existing training simulators hav- authority to subordinates or be subject to interruption by ing adequate modeling and database capabilities at them. At present, there is very limited understanding of how a regional transmission operator or an independent to design user interfaces to accommodate interruption. system operator level so that any entity in the region Two products developed by EPRI for substation opera- could use the same setup for its training facilities. tions and maintenance (O&M) could lead to tools for Interface design. Little use has been made of esthetic analysis of human performance. The first is the Maintenance considerations in the design of interfaces, yet it is Management Workstation (MMW), a data integration, analy- clear that humans are attracted to, and seek to use sis, and display tool that is used to guide decisions on equip- more frequently, that which is esthetically pleasing. ment maintenance and replacement. Since it can connect to Such considerations may also be important if means any database and data source, it could be adapted to analyze are provided (e.g., on cable or broadcast television) operational decision making. The other tool is the Planning to pass disaster mitigation information to the general and Resource Optimizer (PRO), which is a planning tool to public. assist in task scheduling and resource allocation (including

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VULNERABILITIES RELATED TO THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THE ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEM 51 AGING WORKFORCE, RECRUITING, AND TRAINING As many as 200,000 of 400,000 electric utility workers will be eligible to retire in the next 5 to 10 years. Ashworth A skilled workforce is critical to continued reliable (2006) reports results from a survey of top human resource operation and resilience of the nation's electric power sys- executives in which 45 of the 65 respondents placed "aging tem. Maintaining a skilled force is increasingly challenging workforce" in the highest category of problems facing the for utilities, manufacturers, and consultants to the power industry. This was followed by "skilled workforce" and industry. "cost of employee benefits," both of which were ranked in The average age of all power system employees has the top category by 11 of the 65 respondents. Clearly, with a increased significantly over the last decade. A serious short- substantially older workforce that will retire sooner, the loss age is developing, and will continue for several decades, as of critical skills and the training of replacement workers are many of today's employees reach retirement age. The loss significant problems for the electric utility industry. of this expertise is a serious concern. Unless this issue is It is clear from these demographics that disruptive resolved, the nation's electric power system will become less changes in the electric utility workforce are imminent. Many reliable and more vulnerable to external threats, including utility engineers report a substantial broadening of work terrorist intrusion and disruption from natural phenomena. assignments without the necessary time to become "experts" Preparation for, and an effective response to, a terrorist attack in the new areas of responsibility. They cover more functions can only be achieved with a highly skilled and flexible work- and technical areas at less depth, primarily due to reduc- force that is adequately sized. tions in the available pool of engineers and other workers to For most of the past century, before the more recent wide- cover the tasks at hand. Both because of the much smaller spread restructuring, the corporate culture of utilities focused research investments being made by industry and govern- on effective--perhaps liberal--use of human resources to ment in power-related topics, and because students view ensure excellent performance and function. Jobs were seen opportunities for upward mobility and flexible life styles to as highly secure. Many professional and skilled workers be greater in "hot" fields such as information technology and remained with a company for their entire career. The com- microelectronics, many engineering schools have completely plexity of managing investments, conducting system plan- dropped power engineering as an area of study. Venkata ning, running operations, running plant engineering, man- (2004) estimates that today only 1.5 percent of engineering aging construction, and conducting maintenance required students select power engineering as a focus area. Clearly, workers who were both highly trained and knowledgeable, the available pool of power engineering bachelor's and mas- but able to balance the needs of all stakeholders, including ter's degree students is small, and competition by employers regulators and customers. for future graduates will be intense. Industry restructuring, pressures from Wall Street and University power engineering programs are key to the regulators, mergers and acquisitions, and the evolution of availability of sufficient numbers of engineers for the power wholesale markets have led to massive reductions in the U.S. industry. However, power engineering educators generally electric utility workforce. Similar to other industries, the goal agree that electric power engineering education is facing of increased productivity has been largely realized, albeit a crisis. The educators on the committee that prepared this with greater risk of insufficient human resources. Ashworth report concur that there are fewer than 12 truly viable power (2006) notes that 2005 employment levels in the U.S. power engineering programs in universities in the United States. industry have "declined by 23.7 percent [compared] to pre- Several power engineering programs have only one or two 1975 levels, while output has continued to grow by 30 per- remaining faculty who are near retirement and will likely cent over the same 15 year period" (p. 1661). This substantial not be replaced. downsizing has made electric utility jobs far less secure and The reduction in the number of viable power engineering has made many jobs in the industry more stressful. Skilled programs in universities can be attributed to several fac- laborers now often find that employment in other sectors is tors. Many utilities stopped recruiting new students as they less demanding and more rewarding. reduced their workforce. As a result of mergers, competitive Ashworth (2006) also reports that the median age of the forces, and deregulation, industry support of university pro- electric utility workforce is 3.5 years older than the U.S. grams in the form of scholarships, fellowships, and research national average of 43.9 years. Approximately 50 percent funding has significantly declined. The level of funding from of electric utility workers are 45 or older. The average age electric utilities to universities is significantly lower then it of line workers is approximately 50. Analysis by Reder has was 20 years ago. shown a significant problem with the age distribution of Deans and department heads in universities must make engineers in the power industry (Reder, 2006). Many com- decisions about the technical areas where new faculty will be panies have less than 10 percent of their workforce below hired. Generally, new faculty are hired to focus on industries age 35, with the average age of employees increasing each that provide a strong demand for students and heavy R&D year. The age distribution shown in Figure 5.1 projects an support. The electric utility industry has not demonstrated unsustainable and unhealthy increase in the average age of either of these characteristics over the last two decades. power industry employees over the next 10 years.

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52 TERRORISM AND THE ELECTRIC POWER DELIVERY SYSTEM FIGURE 5.1 Typical power industry employee age distribution. SOURCE: Ashworth (2006). Faced with the choice of limited faculty resources, many reality tools may help with training workers in critical areas department heads replace retiring power engineering faculty and in high-hazard tasks such as live-line work. The National with faculty working in "hot" technology areas with strong Aeronautics and Space Administration is already using vir- industry funding. Often these industries provide endowed tual reality tools in place of replica training simulators for professorships and chairs to support faculty positions, which team building and training with members in distributed loca- guarantees the retention of faculty in these technical areas. tions. Improved haptics (the science of the sense of touch) is By contrast, there are few endowed professorships and vir- the most obvious requirement both in virtual reality and in tually no fully endowed chairs designated in electric power multimedia in general, and there is a significant amount of engineering in universities in the United States. research and development being done in this area. The widespread perception that the utility industry does Over the last 15 years, the response of the utility industry not offer career opportunities that are as exciting as other to a shrinking and overstressed workforce has been to turn industries is increasingly untrue. Technology advances are increasingly to consultants and to outsourced engineering altering the nature of the technologies being deployed in and information and communication technology service the industry. Going forward, the electric power industry providers. This system is not sustainable. Many of the will need increasingly more eclectic workers with skills to employees of consulting and engineering service companies address digitization and the complexity of electronics, com- are older and are therefore not a solution to the manpower munications, computers, and highly integrated systems; the needs 10 years hence. Furthermore, the majority of the expe- integration and operation of renewable energy sources; the rienced employees of these firms were trained in the electric operation of sophisticated chemical processes for providing utility industry as utility employees before joining service clean coal and for controlling other pollutants and carbon providers. The electric utility industry is no longer a training dioxide; and perhaps a new generation of nuclear power. ground for skilled engineers and will not provide the increas- Much of this modernization will be driven by consumers' ing number of employees needed by service providers. increasing demands for near-perfect reliability and quality of The conundrum is obvious. As engineers and other skilled supply at a reasonable cost and by ever tighter environmental workers retire, electric utility companies either will need constraints. ever more external support from consultants and engineer- As the workforce population declines through retirement, ing and information and communication technology service attrition, and down-sizing, a precipitous loss in institutional providers, or they will need to mount major new initiatives knowledge is occurring. This knowledge is often not docu- to recruit, train, and retain new workers in a competitive mented, and frequently it is known only to a very few people. environment in which other power companies (and other As today's employees leave the workforce, this knowledge industries) will be working vigorously to hire the same well- leaves with them. EPRI and others have worked to develop trained men and women. tools to capture this knowledge before it is lost. All of this raises significant security concerns. As new New advanced training and worker support tools may help employees charged with a range of responsibilities replace to provide tomorrow's employees with the knowledge and older workers with deep, specialized knowledge, the risk skills they will need. For example, multimedia and virtual grows that people will make mistakes that compromise

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VULNERABILITIES RELATED TO THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THE ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEM 53 security, or that exacerbate the consequences of attacks on do know that it will happen" (Knox, 2005). As with other the system. Clearly, regaining some of the workforce stabil- catastrophic events (e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding), ity that characterized this industry in years past, while also that the risk exists is known; however, the full impact is adding to the technical depth and knowledge of the future difficult to predict. Unlike the effects of other catastrophic workforce, will be an essential part of reducing the risks that events, the damage caused by a pandemic will not, by defini- terrorism poses to the electric power delivery system. tion, be limited to a single geographic region. A pandemic A partial solution to the workforce issue that is relevant can affect businesses nationally and internationally, with a to DHS and other federal agencies, at least in the short term, primary impact on both staff and the public at large. Yet as a concerns the severe H1-B visa limits, currently 65,000 per business continuity risk, the prospect of a pandemic can best year--with high competition from many industries. Electric be approached by organizations acting on a regional basis. power in the United States has greatly benefited for over When a pandemic does occur, it has both social and eco- 100 years from the talents of tens of thousands of immigrant nomic impacts. The private sector and government must be engineers, including those from industry giants such as prepared to manage both. The social impacts directly relate Tesla and Steinmetz. A very high proportion of U.S. gradu- to the health and well-being of employees, customers, and ate students in electric power today are not U.S. citizens, business partners. Understanding how to manage the social but many would choose to work in the U.S. power industry impacts of this threat is critical and should be the focus of following graduation if allowed. Assuming that appropriate planning for a pandemic. A pandemic can also have major and timely background security checks can be conducted for financial consequences as a result of disruption of opera- immigrant students and others with the necessary skills, they tions or loss of key vendors or suppliers. These can directly could provide needed talent and expertise in both academic affect an organization's ability to recover from the event and and industrial environments. Obviously, adequate numbers resume normal operations. Understanding and managing of student visas are also required. both aspects of the business impact is a prerequisite to effec- tively and efficiently dealing with the threat of a pandemic. In the event of a pandemic, the electric power industry, WORKFORCE VULNERABILITY TO PANDEMICS unlike some organizations, cannot completely shut down if a Recently, the threat of a pandemic has become an area of high percentage of the workforce is absent. Essential services much concern because of both the threat to life and the dis- such as health care, water and sewer systems, as well as basic ruption of the services provided by those afflicted. The threat economic activity depend on electricity to operate. Thus it is presents unique implications, and it exposes many points of essential that the electric industry continue to develop and vulnerability across the electric power system infrastructure. refine plans to address the business and human capital risks Should a pandemic occur--whether naturally or by mali- associated with a pandemic. These plans will help to ensure cious action--it will touch every part of the electric system in business continuity in the event of a pandemic and can be a ways few have considered. Recognizing the potential societal natural extension to existing business continuity plans. and economic impact of a pandemic, the U.S. government It should be recognized that no organization has unlim- and the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) ited resources to tackle a pandemic scenario. The only have issued advisories to the electric industry on the need for rational way to prepare for a pandemic is to focus on those preparedness plans. operations that are mission critical and people-dependent. Many businesses today have implemented business con- Such plans should create a leadership succession process, tinuity and emergency preparedness plans. Those plans that cross-train people to perform multiple critical business func- address high absentee levels are an important tool to ensure tions, include a crisis health and sanitation plan, provide for that critical business activities are sustainable in the event advance employee training, and include a communication of various possible extreme situations, including health and information dissemination plan. emergencies. This is particularly relevant to an industry that has relied on mutual assistance agreements in responding to CONCLUSIONS catastrophic events. Since 2003, of the 270 people known to be infected with Robust background screening programs for all per- avian flu, 164 have died (WHO, 2007). To date, 10 countries sonnel need to be uniformly implemented across across three continents have reported confirmed human cases the electric power industry. These programs not of avian flu. As a result, avian flu is now being described by only should apply to new employees but also should health officials as a possible pandemic. The late Lee Jong- include members of the existing workforce who are wook, former director-general of the World Health Organi- staffing critical operational positions and to all con- zation (WHO) noted, "It is only a matter of time before an tractors and others with direct or indirect access to avian flu virus . . . acquires the ability to be transmitted from such facilities. human to human, sparking the outbreak of human pandemic Pre-event training programs need to be developed to influenza. We don't know when this will happen. But we ensure that utility workers, as first responders, are

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54 TERRORISM AND THE ELECTRIC POWER DELIVERY SYSTEM adequately trained to respond to a terrorist event. chairs and professorships are needed to secure power Training should include instruction on how to detect faculty positions in electrical engineering depart- and operate within an area that has been contami- ments. The key to the success of power engineering nated by radioactive, chemical, or biological agents. programs is a significant increase in direct research The training at the engineering workforce level support for faculty and students. Increased research should also include aspects of organizational theory, funding must be targeted to universities in order to risk communication, and risk perception. It should provide incentives to deans and department heads also recognize the high likelihood that such areas will who must decide which technical areas will be be classified as a crime scene. It is important to note emphasized and where new faculty will be hired. To that such training is specifically intended to expose date, no industry organization has provided adequate utility workers to probable scenarios that are a conse- leadership and "ownership" of the crisis facing power quence of malicious attacks, and it should be clearly engineering education in universities. separated from the training utility workers receive for All utility service providers should develop business day-to-day system operation and maintenance. continuity plans that ensure that power can continue The electric power industry faces serious and grow- to be reliably supplied in the face of a pandemic. Such ing security and other challenges as a result of more plans should create a leadership succession process, rapid churning of employees in utilities and among cross-train people to perform multiple critical busi- contactors. This change is resulting from workforce ness functions, include a crisis health and sanitation aging, the attrition of skilled workers, the loss of plan, provide for advance employee training, and core competencies and institutional knowledge, and include an internal and an external communication competition for the declining supply of electrical and information dissemination plan. engineers and other skilled professionals. A detailed analysis of workforce issues in the U.S. electric REFERENCES power industry, including a careful examination of associated security issues, is needed and should be Ashworth, M.J. 2006. Workforce Aging in the U.S. Electric Power Industry. Briefing to the workshop on the same topic, Carnegie Mellon Electricity a priority activity for organizations representing the Industry Center, Pittsburgh, Pa., April 17. industry. Appropriate organizations in the public Christie, R.D. and P.M. Mahadev. 1994. "Case Study: Visualization of an and private sector (e.g., the Edison Electric Institute Electric Power Transmission System." IEEE Proceedings of the Confer- CEO Committee) must engage utilities at an execu- ence on Visualization '94. tive level to create and implement a set of systematic EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute). 2000. Power Delivery Reliability Initiative: Phase One Summary Report. EPRI Report 1000200. Palo solutions to these problems. Alto, Calif.: EPRI, December. Mid-term and long-term solutions to the shortage Knox, N. 2005. "`Matter of Time Before Bird Flu Pandemic Strikes,' WHO of an educated power engineering workforce are says." USA Today, November 8. dependent on the health of electric power engineer- Overbye, T.J., and J.D. Weber. 2001. "Visualizing the Electric Grid." IEEE ing programs in universities--programs that, in many Spectrum 38(2): 5258. Reder, W.K. 2006. "The Technical Talent Challenge (and Implications of cases, have been eliminated or undergone major Our Maturing Workforce)." IEEE Power and Energy Magazine 4(1): contraction. The utility industry must find a sys- 3239. temic, coordinated solution for the support of those Venkata, S. 2004. "Human Resource Needs in Electric Energy/Power En- universities that have maintained power engineering gineering." Presentation. Clarkson University, Albany, N.Y., May 17. faculty and are capable of expanding power curricula WHO (World Health Organization). 2007. "Cumulative Number of Confirmed Human Cases of Avian Influenza A/(H5N1) Reported to and increasing student numbers over the near term. WHO, 29 January 2007." Available at http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ While direct student support is important in the form avian_influenza/country/cases_table_2007_01_29/en/index.html. Ac- of scholarships and graduate fellowships, endowed cessed January 2007.