Skip to comments.Defence Committee - Tenth Report Developing Threats: Electro-Magnetic Pulses (EMP)
Posted on 02/26/2012 11:44:50 AM PST by bigbob
1. Today's society places an ever-growing reliance on technology. Modern infrastructures such as power, telecommunications and water systems, businesses, industries and services are now interdependent to a very significant degree, and disruption can therefore spread very quickly as the effects cascade through connected systems. A failure of the national grid for example, would inevitably have repercussions for a wide range of businesses and services, from energy supplies, water processing, traffic control and logistical systems and even parts of the finance sector. Similarly a growing reliance is placed on satellite-based technology such as GPS (global positioning system); for instance the operation of financial markets relies on accurate timing supplied by GPS. The UK military are greatly reliant on a range of electronic communications and navigation systems.
2. Such technologies are known to be vulnerable to the effects of space weather and other electromagnetic activity, such as that which would result from the detonation of a nuclear weapon at high altitude. The potential threat of EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) used as a weapon against the UK also poses a significant risk to UK National Security. Understanding the extent of these risks and the need to mitigate them is therefore at least partly within the remit of the MoD.
3. For 50 years, governments concentrated on the threat of deliberate attack, and electromagnetic pulse was regarded as a problem to be addressed by the military. It was only in 2008 that space weather was accepted as a threat of which civil authorities should also take account.
(Excerpt) Read more at publications.parliament.uk ...
You can browse the report together with the Proceedings of the Committee. The published report was ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 8 February 2012.
This post is intended for use by adults who have an interest in learning about this topic. I do not own any tinfoil.
Thank you for posting this.
Just like with Y2K, there will be a lot of fearful handwringing about EMP. The truth is that nobody knows how much damage EMP will do, which equipment will be undamaged and which will be totally fried. However modern society depends on much infrastructure that is composed of long chains of equipment that all must function. So, if any one component is fried by EMP, the chain is broken until repairs can be effected.
Too many people in government and who manage utilities are complacent about EMP. While I am not a fan of Smartmeters, as we upgrade our grid (to provide capacity for recharging all of GE’s Volts), it is a perfect time to increase its resiliency against EMP. At the very least, doing so will decrease outages caused by lightning strikes.
I am especially concerned with things like nuclear power plants. Fukishima melted down because of a power outage, if an EMP weapon was used here, we could have a dozen Fukishimas simultaneously if the plants have not been prepared for a power outage. The newest designs can shut down gracefully if power goes out, but we have a lot of old reactors.
I don't hear people in government or industry talking about this, which is one of the things that gets me concerned. If it isn't a threat, then say it isn't. If it is a threat, and we have protected vital areas, then say so. It would make it a lot less likely that someone would use it. If it is a threat and we haven't prepared, then start making it a priority.
I keep hoping that an EMP is set off somewhere where people could FINALLY see that it’s real (even though it has already been demonstrated). Until that happens, we will simply sit here and wait, and wait, and wait - until Iran decides to take us out.
It isn't a threat. Most nuclear systems have double redundancy back-up. The Fukishima design was outdated and did not meet present standards. They knew it but ran them anyway without the needed updates. That won't fly here.
“...but we have a lot of old reactors.”
And some of those store their spent fuel in a pool in the vicinity of the reactor core just like at Fukishima, which in hindsight is a disaster waiting to happen.
The folks who designed this and the folks who regulated this into existence are all too smart by half. They have waaaay too much faith in their backup power plan, and as NASA found out, when you count on Plan B to rescue you from a failure of Plan A, that should tell you that Plan A is not good enough, not even for government work.