Introduction

Background

Critical Foundations: Protecting America's Infrastructures, the report of the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection (PCCIP, 1997), concluded that the nation's physical security and economic security depend on our critical energy, communications, and computer infrastructures1. As our dependence on them increases,­ so too do the vulnerabilities of these infrastructures to a wide range of threats. During the Cold War, the federal government constructed a number of underground facilities (UGFs) to house critical personnel and functions associated with the national defense. Although this threat has warned, the threat of high-casualty terrorist incidents and the diffusion of technologies for weapons of mass destruction have increased. In light of these growing threats, the Defense Special Weapons Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) requested the assistance of the National Research Council to investigate how these existing facilities, or new underground sites, may contribute to an emerging national focus on the security of our critical infrastructures.

The PCCIP noted that the potential threats to the nation's critical infrastructures range from natural disasters to criminal and terrorist activities to organized information warfare. Many of these threats are "cyber-threats" and are not readily addressed with traditional physical security techniques. However, some components of advanced information systems are vulnerable to physical damage, whether from terrorist bombings, earthquakes, or apparently ordinary traffic accidents. Other infrastructure systems, such as energy, transportation, and emergency services, also have critical elements that are physically vulnerable. Although the PCCIP did not directly address the role of UGFs for the protection of critical infrastructures, its report recommended a program of joint government and industry cooperation and information sharing to increase the security of our nation's critical infrastructures.

Secure UGFs offer one means of protecting these critical elements and systems. UGFs can be particularly attractive if the perceived threat level or the consequences of loss are high and the vulnerabilities cannot be addressed through system redundancy or other nonstructural means. Although buildings can be hardened (strengthened) against structural failure from earthquakes, explosions, or accidents, beyond a certain threat level or structural loading, providing protection for critical elements in hardened above-ground structures

1  

Critical infrastructures are systems whose incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on the defense or economic security of the nation. They include telecommunications, electrical power systems, gas and oil, banking and finance, transportation, water supply systems, government services, and emergency services.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 1
Use of Underground Facilities to Protect Critical Infrastructures: Summary of a Workshop Introduction Background Critical Foundations: Protecting America's Infrastructures, the report of the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection (PCCIP, 1997), concluded that the nation's physical security and economic security depend on our critical energy, communications, and computer infrastructures1. As our dependence on them increases,­ so too do the vulnerabilities of these infrastructures to a wide range of threats. During the Cold War, the federal government constructed a number of underground facilities (UGFs) to house critical personnel and functions associated with the national defense. Although this threat has warned, the threat of high-casualty terrorist incidents and the diffusion of technologies for weapons of mass destruction have increased. In light of these growing threats, the Defense Special Weapons Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) requested the assistance of the National Research Council to investigate how these existing facilities, or new underground sites, may contribute to an emerging national focus on the security of our critical infrastructures. The PCCIP noted that the potential threats to the nation's critical infrastructures range from natural disasters to criminal and terrorist activities to organized information warfare. Many of these threats are "cyber-threats" and are not readily addressed with traditional physical security techniques. However, some components of advanced information systems are vulnerable to physical damage, whether from terrorist bombings, earthquakes, or apparently ordinary traffic accidents. Other infrastructure systems, such as energy, transportation, and emergency services, also have critical elements that are physically vulnerable. Although the PCCIP did not directly address the role of UGFs for the protection of critical infrastructures, its report recommended a program of joint government and industry cooperation and information sharing to increase the security of our nation's critical infrastructures. Secure UGFs offer one means of protecting these critical elements and systems. UGFs can be particularly attractive if the perceived threat level or the consequences of loss are high and the vulnerabilities cannot be addressed through system redundancy or other nonstructural means. Although buildings can be hardened (strengthened) against structural failure from earthquakes, explosions, or accidents, beyond a certain threat level or structural loading, providing protection for critical elements in hardened above-ground structures 1   Critical infrastructures are systems whose incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on the defense or economic security of the nation. They include telecommunications, electrical power systems, gas and oil, banking and finance, transportation, water supply systems, government services, and emergency services.

OCR for page 1
Use of Underground Facilities to Protect Critical Infrastructures: Summary of a Workshop may cost more than building an underground facility. A cost-risk analysis can demonstrate the most cost-effective approach for obtaining the desired level of protection. At the request of the Defense Special Weapons Agency, the Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment of the National Research Council convened a workshop on April 6 and 7, 1998, on the use of underground facilities for the protection of critical infrastructure. The workshop, which was held at the National Academy of Sciences, in Washington, D.C., explored how existing UGFs constructed for defense purposes or new facilities might meet the nation's needs in protecting critical infrastructures. Workshop participants possessed expertise primarily in defense and security matters. Members of the commercial underground and tunneling communities also were in attendance. The views presented in this summary of the workshop are solely those of the participants and do not represent the positions or opinions of the Defense Special Weapons Agency, the Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment, the National Research Council, or the National Academy of Sciences. Organization of the Workshop Following a welcoming address by Maj. Gen. Gary Curtin, director of the Defense Special Weapons Agency, and a keynote address by Frederick Struble, former commissioner of the PCCIP, four technical panels were convened. Panel 1, "Infrastructure Protection Issues", provided an overview of the threats facing the nation's critical infrastructures. Panel 2, "Needs and Requirements of the Infrastructure Community", addressed issues and protective strategies from the viewpoints of selected infrastructure sectors. The third panel, "Experiences with Underground Facilities: Capabilities, Limitations, and Applications" gave an historical perspective on the use of UGFs and operating experiences with defense and commercial facilities. Panel 4, "Factors Influencing the Decision-Making Process'' discussed the various technical, economic, and policy questions that must be addressed when considering an underground facility option. Donald Woodard discussed the key issues that commercial enterprises consider when contemplating an underground location and Arnfinn Jenssen provided a Norwegian perspective on infrastructure protection in the United States. Following the panel presentations and discussions, the workshop participants divided themselves between two breakout sessions to discuss technical and policy issues.

OCR for page 1
Use of Underground Facilities to Protect Critical Infrastructures: Summary of a Workshop ISSUES IDENTIFIED BY PARTICIPANTS AT THE WORKSHOP Some of the issues identified at the workshop are summarized for the reader. These issues not to be interpreted as the views of the board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment or the National research Council. Technical Issues The following issues were identified in the technical breakout session: Threats to the infrastructure are both physical threats and cyber-threats; and an overriding concern is that most of the nation's critical infrastructures are owned by the private sector. The private sector's record on protecting infrastructures is mixed. A comprehensive solution involving UGFs will certainly require a partnership between the private sector and the federal government. Critical infrastructures must be defined. Tools and educational data should be developed to explore the long-term trade-offs between UGFs and other options to protect critical infrastructures. Going underground has some clear benefits, such as improved security and opportunities for dual uses of existing facilities. Cost is a major issue. In the United States (though not in Scandinavia) the initial construction cost of UGFs is considerably higher than the cost of above-ground facilities. Cost will be considered a "barrier" by some infrastructure owners and operators who are considering underground relocation. Over the entire life cycle of UGFs, there are operations and maintenance cost savings; in the long run, UGFs can be considered very cost competitive. Specific threats must be addressed, and UGFs must be well designed and difficult to attack. Technical concerns include external lifeline connections, fire, and protecting the facilities against chemical and biological weapons. Policy Issues The policy breakout session identified the following issues: Public perception is clearly a key issue. Corporate America needs to be made aware of the benefits of UGFs, and the public needs to be educated about their uses and benefits for protecting critical infrastructures. Cost is a major policy issue because of the substantial difference in cost between UGFs and above-ground structures. Before a more aggressive public effort can be mounted in support of an underground program, more definitive cost data must be available. The dual-use capabilities of facilities should be emphasized. A great deal can be learned from the Norwegian experience with dual-use UGFs. The

OCR for page 1
Use of Underground Facilities to Protect Critical Infrastructures: Summary of a Workshop benefits of dual-use capabilities should be emphasized as a major advantage for future underground facility programs. The underground technical community should narrow its focus, identify specific infrastructure areas where UGFs could help, obtain good estimates of design and cost data for going underground for those particular infrastructure elements, and then reach out to the appropriate sectors (e.g., corporate executives and government) to adopt a longer-term program. Reference The President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection (PCCIP). 1997. Critical Foundations: Protecting America's Infrastructures. Washington, D.C.: The President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection.