Quebec Hydro Power Dams under Gun after Security Breaches by Journalists

Television reporters freely stroll through some of Canada's largest electrical generating stations; begs question of guards, access control


"The measures are on the way to being in place," Vandal said. "It's taken a time, I admit, that seems long. I regret this delay. I can't say the situation is acceptable."

However, security analyst Michel Juneau-Katsuya said the threat of attack on hydro installations is exaggerated. He said it would be almost impossible for a terrorist to destroy a major hydro dam.

"There is so much concrete in those stations, you would need a mini-nuclear bomb to cause significant damage," Juneau-Katsuya said.

Juneau-Katsuya said even a major attack on hydro transformers or power stations would only disrupt electrical service for a few hours.

Terrorists are more interested in high-profile symbolic targets with the potential for many civilian casualties, he said.

"I'm more concerned with the CN Tower in downtown Toronto, rather than a dam in the middle of nowhere," he said.

The news report came a few months after someone bombed a Hydro-Quebec line that sends power to the United States.

The strike on a transmission tower caused light damage and didn't interrupt service but forced the utility to replace the leaning tower in the Eastern Townships.