Part of the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant in Lewiston, N.Y., is seen from the air on Aug. 14, 2003, during a massive power outage that stretched from New York to Detroit and into Canada.
In the 10 years since sagging power lines in Ohio sparked a blackout across much of the Northeastern United States and Canada, utility engineers say they have implemented measures to prevent another such event in the country's electric grid.
But there is one disaster scenario for which the power companies are still unprepared: a massive attack on the computer networks that underlie the U.S. electric grid.
Energy industry leaders believe a cyberthreat could produce a blackout even bigger than the , which left an estimated 50 million people in the dark.
"We have to treat the cyberthreat with the same respect that we give to forces of nature, [such as] hurricanes, floods, ice, storms," said Chris Peters, vice president for critical infrastructure at Entergy, a company that operates nuclear power plants. "We have to fund it, we have to staff it and we have to be ready to respond as necessary."
For the rest of the story: http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/08/15/212079908/the-next-disaster-scenario-power-companies-are-preparing-for