Nuclear reactor isn't using a licensed copy of WinCC

When building a multi-million dollar nuclear reactor there are few areas that nobody would want to skimp on. When a leak of radiation could effectively kill and make a vast area inhabitable for quite some time you would think that no details would be overlooked right?

Below is a picture of the console of a newly built nuclear power plant in Iran. The console, for those who don't know, runs the entire plant and maintains that all safeguards remain active and in place; effectively, it prevents an entire meltdown. With such a high valued piece of equipment you would think that the Iranians would have splurged for a licensed copy of WinCC!

It is not known if the plant is operational yet as it has been a heated battle between Iran and the UN about Iran's intentions with nuclear capabilities. The issue here is not if they should have nuclear power but that they should at least make sure the software running the plant, is in fact, capable of running all the operations with no chance of a meltdown!

Updated, thanks to the helpful comments!

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Yea this is stupid, the story should be retracted... it shows as one of those banners on the top of the homepage like it is some super important thing...

1: It's just a screen shot of an application... 2: It has nothing to do with windows.

WIN for the first person to come up with a similar screen shot, put license expire on it, and say it's from a Nuclear Silo in the midwest!

Why is that microsoft windows logo still there? It has nothing to do with it other than the fact that it looks like they're running windows 2000.

American government has brainwashed some people really good. If it was true it would have been all over the western media. Axis of evil, my azz.

Considering theres no external link to the "real" story, I'm gonna call BS on this one...... The only other links i can find on this story are basically reposts from Neowin and forum discussions... I doubt very much that this story has any validity whatsoever. Someone probably found a picture of some reactor monitoring software, edited it, and posted it to deceive. :p

If anyone can find a link from a REAL news source, please feel free to correct me.

sbrum said,
http://www.upi.com/News_Photos/Features/Nu...in_Iran/1581/2/

The only problem with this story is this comment:

"The console, for those who don't know, runs the entire plant and maintains that all safeguards remain active and in place; effectively, it prevents an entire meltdown. "

A source on this comment would be nice.


yeah it's a bull****, the console just allows for visual confirmation, the safeguards would not fail because of the console computer failing. Really a non-story

this has to be the most useless bit of news ever posted on Neowin. It was completely incorrect in it's original claim and if you look at the other pictures of the console the error is not on screen; maybe the picture was taken of an out of service console or during setup... whatever, seriously POOR front page news.

nb. i've never in all my time here posted one of these "poor news" rambles, but this one really takes the biscuit.

CIA (you tax dollars at work) is working for you providing with the latest on FUD.

WinCC can be used as a virtualization (testing, debug and so on) or simply as a non-functional panel. There are not warranty that this wincc interface is functional or even yet if it is real or not, a single Scada diagram says nothing.

Most everything media related in the Middle East is pirated software. I highly doubt any of them own anything on legal media. When I was deployed to Iraq the Iraqis allowed to sell stuff on base sold most everything (movies, PS2 games, PC software) on copied discs.

Correct me if i'm wrong but is it possible it's impossible for them to get the license?
I'm guessing WinCC is from a US-based company and if í'm correct US companies can't trade/work with companies in Iran?

There was some list of countries that are out of bounds for trading... forgot it's name...

"When building a multi-million dollar nuclear reactor there are few areas that anyone would want to skimp on." Dont you mean "there are few areas that nobody would want to skimp on"?

Simple licence expiry message, nothing to do with Windows. It's the software that has expired.
Shouldn't these news items be checked before being posted?

It's very blurry... The fact that it's control software actually makes it worse I think. :)

(You can let news authors know of problems like that with the "Report a problem" link at the top.)

GreyWolfSC said,
It's very blurry... The fact that it's control software actually makes it worse I think. :)

(You can let news authors know of problems like that with the "Report a problem" link at the top.)


Sorry about that, I meant that as a bit tongue-in-cheek, not as a honest arse-chewing LOL!

yeah that isn't an illegal copy of Windows.. Instead it's just an expired version of WinCC a program by Siemens, as 0sm3l put in his link.

Better edit the news post. It shows incorrect information

My question is.....why would any facility like that use a windows (not bashing it) and not a custom home brewed os that is specifically made for the facility?

That doesn't look like the traditional message about windows licensing. From what I can read it seems to be speaking about the license of "software" that is running and not the Operating System.

spartyjohnson said,
That doesn't look like the traditional message about windows licensing. From what I can read it seems to be speaking about the license of "software" that is running and not the Operating System.

You are correct. So many people here thinking it is Windows. When it is a piece factory automation software.

That looks like exactly what it is. It says "WinCC..." in the corner and the dialog text is:

Your software license has expired
Please obtain a valid license

0sm3l said,
Is that a WGA dialog? To me it just seems to be an expired license of the software they are using :S

actually they are using

https://www.automation.siemens.com/hmi/html...tegration01.htm

This makes the whole news post less interesting, I'm afraid.

On a side note, people really need to educate themselves on modern nuclear power plant design. A computer system would not cause a melt-down persay, as the safety mechanisms are redundant mechanically. Also, the worse thing that would happen is the nuclear material would just bury itself under the power plant (hence the "china-syndrome"). I saw a really good lecture on Nuclear Power, I think on the UC Berkley web site under the "Physics for Future Presidents" course (the one that Bush didn't take). It busts a lot of myths concerning nuclear power that is really fueled by ignorance.

Shadrack said,

This makes the whole news post less interesting, I'm afraid.

On a side note, people really need to educate themselves on modern nuclear power plant design. A computer system would not cause a melt-down persay, as the safety mechanisms are redundant mechanically. Also, the worse thing that would happen is the nuclear material would just bury itself under the power plant (hence the "china-syndrome"). I saw a really good lecture on Nuclear Power, I think on the UC Berkley web site under the "Physics for Future Presidents" course (the one that Bush didn't take). It busts a lot of myths concerning nuclear power that is really fueled by ignorance.

Explain shirnoble then and why areas away from the plant are irradiated

necroxd said,
Explain shirnoble then and why areas away from the plant are irradiated

Because Chernobyl was using an outdated 1950's design with many of the safety features switched off. Modern reactors work differently.

necroxd said,
...
Explain shirnoble then and why areas away from the plant are irradiated

Chernobyl was a steam explosion that blew the top of the reactor (and the reactor building roof) away (and launched radioactive materials out). It was due to a flawed design, bad safety practices and untrained staff (and some large amounts of stupidity thrown in to boot)

I can see it now, there's a meltdown and they try and claim that MS's Illegal copy was "hacked" by the CIA to cause the meltdown, and the UN being the idiots they are will fall for it

dead.cell said,
Yeah, okay...


These are the same Iranians that claimed the CIA put cameras in squirrels to spy on them, they will make any claim they feel they can get away with.l

z0phi3l said,
These are the same Iranians that claimed the CIA put cameras in squirrels to spy on them, they will make any claim they feel they can get away with.l

What makes you so sure they're lying? Squirrels happen to be easily trained to perform complex tasks. They can be trained to look for certain types of objects or buildings. So for instance, they could have been taught to attack on sight someone wearing a turban, or who has a mustache.

CIA Animal Tech: Bats, Cats and Rats As Covert Operatives

But can they even buy licensed Windows? I would think it's covered by the trade sanctions, same as aircraft components and what not..

Microsoft products are banned from sale in Iran. Licences purchased in outside countries will fail activation within Iran. Source: Microsoft Student Group