Skip to comments.Hearing: Electric Grid Vulnerable to EMP
Posted on 05/09/2014 6:15:29 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network
Experts on Capitol Hill Thursday warned that an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack aimed at the nations electrical grid could leave the majority of Americans dead.
(Excerpt) Read more at freebeacon.com ...
America needs to address this.
I wonder what a 737 fitted with a nuke that is exploded at its max altitude would do to our electric grid?
Nothing, I would think - it might affect an area about 50-100 miles wide. A typical effective EMP needs to be at least 250 miles up.
“I wonder what a 737 fitted with a nuke that is exploded at its max altitude would do to our electric grid?”
At airline altitudes it would directly impact only a 100 mile radius, and would have to be very big to even do that.
I am as well “shocked” at this “electrifrying” news. Nah, not really. As long as the low/no infos get their news about kims wedding, they couldn’t care less. I may be wrong but I believe that hairy reid-iculous is most likely pinning the blame for any future attacks on the Koch brothers. :>}
While a 50 to 100 mile blackout would be significant depending on the location, (New York, L.A. or D.C.) for instance, I understand that a plane borne EMP would not have a big enough impact to shut the whole electric grid down.
“A typical effective EMP needs to be at least 250 miles up.”
And it would have to be really big, in the megaton range even then, because the pulse is diminished with the square of the distance.
So what is the fix? Putting all electrical lines underground and in metal pipe?
Physically and economically nearly impossible.
gosh if only someone had a few $trillion for ‘shovel ready’ jobs we could have fixed this
All I am saying is, if this problem is what it seems (not that this is certain, but it seems to be potentially big) America is being completely irresponsible not paying attention to such a very large issue.
We need to bring back American industry, and there are a whole lot of things to worry about. But this goes beyond those other things.
America as a whole appears to be at (significant) risk.
All I am saying is, we need to pay attention to this.
Have a stock of the Transformers on hand. It takes a very long time to build and supply the critical transformers. Not the little dudes on the pole outside your house.
Do all of your posts.
End this way.
No. I seem to have overused that a tad though this morning, looking at my history.
Thanks for the feedback.
“And it would have to be really big, in the megaton range even then, because the pulse is diminished with the square of the distance.”
Yeah, I really wonder what would happen if NK or Iran lofted a 20kt-er up over the US and then found out it fizzled. India and Pakistan couldn’t get over 20 kt and I seriously wonder what our enemies are planning.
More than that, a lot more!
I believe you may be confusing the effects of a nuclear-explosion's EMP with the effects of a "Carrington" (solar flare) event.
A Carrington event would knock out the power grid, but would not destroy run-of-the-mill electronics. So it could be mitigated by:
1. A big stock of high-voltage transformers, per your suggestion; and
2. A warning system that would take the power grid's functioning transformers off-line temporarily when an incoming flare is detected.
But a nuclear EMP not only would cripple our power grid, but it also could fry most solid-state electronic devices (e.g., in all modern cars) under its "umbrella" -- unless those devices had been suitably shielded, grounded and otherwise hardened.
“Have a stock of the Transformers on hand.”
Good point... Even with the lack of probability of an EMP weapon being deployed, there is always the possibility of a solar flare or even lightning.
I would expect that the power industry already has some degree of redundancy built in. This is something that I would expect would be handled by private industry and not some wasteful government program.
“But a nuclear EMP not only would cripple our power grid, but it also could fry most solid-state electronic devices (e.g., in all modern cars) under its “umbrella” — unless those devices had been suitably shielded, grounded and otherwise hardened. “
‘most’ = possibly some
And a Faraday cage yes, but grounding doesn’t do squat...
There is no doubt an EMP attack would be much more deadly than a Carrington event. I think we could deal with a flare with “reasonable” success especially with the advanced warning we would have.
I agree that an “EMP” attack would send us back to horse and buggy days very quickly. As bad as a nuke over Washington or New York would be, it would be nothing compared to even a “small” EMP attack.
And the worst part of this is that I am convinced it is only a matter of when, not if.
I, too, am frequently annoyed by that ridiculous use of the period. Apparently, the use of punctuation marks is no longer taught in schools.
Sorry, I just couldn’t stop myself.
Glad to see you’re a good sport.
They need to be more concerned about whats going to happen if and when CWII kicks off. Internal forces will put the grid down. IMO its more likely the grid will be hacked and brought down or some ticked off Americans. EMP is only one of the ways the grid goes down. Getting an alternative source of electrical power for your home is a really good idea.
>> a Faraday cage yes, but grounding doesnt do squat <<
I ground all of my Faraday cages!
(All of those grounds are connected to one another via no. 6 AWG cable, plus being connected to the main electric service ground, per the NEC. And for good measure, all of the above are connected to a separate 8-foot copper grounding rod that’s as close as possible to the Faradays.)
Is this not the original plot line for the Dark Angel series with Jessica Alba? An EMP sets everyone back to the pre-transistor technology.
EMP will generate a charge in all the conductors and fry anything needing a pure crystal semi-conductor, but the lines will still be there. How soon would we be able to remake breakers and switches pre-semiconductor? We would be out for a bit, and mass chaos will ensue, but we will recover.
Start putting fiber optic in your home. Glass fiber is immune to EMP because it does not depend on an ordered crystal structure, and you only need to Faraday cage the transmitters.
A 737 at max altitude ? It would do practically nothing to no one. At about 40,000 feet, or about 8 miles up, even a 1 megaton bomb wouldn’t touch Earth with its fireball, which is about 1.5 miles radius. There would be some wind from the blast but not much else.
“All I am saying is, if this problem is what it seems (not that this is certain, but it seems to be potentially big) America is being completely irresponsible not paying attention to such a very large issue.”
Same thing has been said of the Ozone Hole, Global Warming, etc. Junk ‘science’ lead by people that are not scientists spread by the Internet.
I don’t know.
The issues you mention seem like leftist rallying points.
I’m not sure this is a leftist rallying point.
This seems like a very large (potential) issue which we need to pay a large amount of attention to.
Or not. But it seems like to me.
You don’t spend large amount of anything on potential. You spend it on probable.
EMP has far less science behind it that most other fads people demand everyone else follow.
“I ground all of my Faraday cages!”
Tough to use an earth ground in a car or plane. Faraday cages do not need one.
However I think the possibility of a solar flare large enough to cause grid outages or even an EMP attack to have a more likely possibility of happening than trouble from the Ozone Hole, Global Warming, Over Population, junk science scams you list.
Since you seem to have a firm grasp of the details, I value your opinion. Do you really rate them all the same?
I agree with the poster in 30.
However I also tend to being concerned with this issue. So I also tend to remain concerned with this.
It appears to me, the military is prepared for EMP, but the civilian population is not.
Then why has it been something the military spends money on and has for many decades, both in enhancing EMP weapons, and in hardening against EMPs?
>> Tough to use an earth ground in a car or plane. Faraday cages do not need one. <<
OK, I’ll disconnect all of my grounds this afternoon or tonight!
They have? Got proof?
I thought you were military, you never noticed that some of your equipment was hardened against EMP, such as my PRC70 in the 1980s, or the PRC 77, and vehicles, aircraft and all kinds of gear?
Here is a piece of a Boeing 2008 news release.
“Major survivability discriminators for the Boeing KC-767 included:
More robust surface-to-air missile defense systems
Cockpit displays that improve situational awareness to enable flight crews to better see and assess the threat environment
Better Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) hardening — the KC-767 is better able to operate in an EMP environment compared with the KC-30
Automatic route planning/rerouting and steering cues to the flight crew to avoid threats once they are detected
Better armor-protection features for the flight crew and critical aircraft systems
Better fuel-tank-explosion protection features.”
>> You dont spend large amount of anything on potential. You spend it on probable. <<
That’s a misleading statement. You want to look not only at the probability of an event, but also at its potential effects. If you can quantity the effects, say as in a cost estimate, then you should multiply this estimated cost by the estimated probability. That multiplication gives an “expected cost” — and the relative expected costs of different potential disasters are what should determine your rankings of the various expenditures for mitigation.