Emp power grid failure,home emergency survival kits,it disaster recovery planning for dummies pdf - Test Out

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An EMP bomb is a nuclear weapon designed to be detonated at a high altitude in order to create extremely powerful electromagnetic pulses.
EMP attack threats from North Korea should also be taken very seriously, according to former CIA Director James Woolsey. North Korea would not need to have a missile powerful enough to leave its own shores and hit America. Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer appears to concur with Woolsey and recently issued an urgent warning to the investment community. The letter to clients also encouraged them to call on leaders to protect the antiquated and overly-taxed power grid and essential electronic devices. Last year Woolsey stated that Russian officials informed the United States in 2004 that the design specs for a “Super-EMP” nuclear warhead has “leaked” from their country to North Korea.
While it may sound like experts in the fiscal and homeland security realm are starting to take the possibility of an EMP attack very seriously, so did the Congressional EMP Commission for many years with little to no results. This entry was posted in Emergency Preparedness and tagged trent franks, solar storm, solar flare, shield act, power grid, peter vincent pry, paul singer, one second after, nuclear weapons, north korea, james woolsey, emp attack, emp, electromagnetic pulse, dr william r forstchen, congress, CME on August 27, 2014 by Tara Dodrill. Rick Warren’s Membership in Council on Foreign Relations – One World Religion Agenda??
Similar to conventional warfare, critical infrastructure serves as a target to cyber attacks. There are nearly 450 nuclear reactors in the world, with hundreds more either under construction or in the planning stages. Consider the ongoing problems caused by three reactor core meltdowns, explosions, and breached containment vessels at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi facility, and the subsequent health and environmental issues. In the past 152 years, Earth has been struck roughly 100 solar storms causing significant geomagnetic disturbances (GMD), two of which were powerful enough to rank as “extreme GMDs”.
Most of us believe something like this could never happen, and if it could, certainly our “authorities” would do everything in their power to make sure they would prevent such an Apocalypse from ever taking place. Our global system of electrical power generation and distribution (“the grid”), upon which every facet of our modern life is utterly dependent, in its current form is extremely vulnerable to severe geomagnetic storms of a magnitude that tends to strike our planet on an average of approximately once every 70 to 100 years. Unfortunately, the world’s nuclear power plants, as they are currently designed, are critically dependent upon maintaining connection to a functioning electrical grid, for all but relatively short periods of electrical blackouts, in order to keep their reactor cores continuously cooled so as to avoid catastrophic reactor core meltdowns and spent fuel rod storage pond fires.
If an extreme GMD were to cause widespread grid collapse (which it most certainly will), in as little as one or two hours after each nuclear reactor facility’s backup generators either fail to start, or run out of fuel, the reactor cores will start to melt down. To do nothing is to behave like ostriches with our heads in the sand, blindly believing that “everything will be okay,” as our world inexorably drifts towards the next naturally recurring, 100%  inevitable, super solar storm and resultant extreme GMD.
There are records from the 1850s to today of roughly one hundred significant geomagnetic solar storms, two of which in the last 25 years were strong enough to cause millions of dollars worth of damage to key components that keep our modern grid powered.
During the Great Geomagnetic Storm of May 14-15, 1921, brilliant aurora displays were reported in the Northern Hemisphere as far south as Mexico and Puerto Rico, and in the Southern Hemisphere as far north as Samoa[5].
Prior to the advent of the microchip and modern extra-high-voltage (EHV) transformers (key grid components that were first introduced in the late 1960’s), most electrical systems were relatively  robust and resistant to the effects of GMDs.
The federal government recently sponsored a detailed scientific study to more fully understand the extent to which critical components of our national electrical power grid might be effected by either a naturally occurring GMD or a man-made EMP.
EHV transformers are custom designed for each installation and are made to order, weighing as much as 300 tons each, and costing well over US 1$ million each. The loss of thousands of EHV transformers worldwide would cause a catastrophic collapse of the grid, stretching across much of the industrialized world. It was a short-term cooling system failure that caused the partial reactor core melt-down in March 1979 at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania. Of even greater danger and concern than the reactor cores themselves are the spent fuel rods stored in on-site cooling ponds. Since spent fuel ponds typically hold far greater quantities of highly radioactive material then the active nuclear reactors locked inside reinforced containment vessels, they clearly present far greater potential  for the catastrophic spread of highly radioactive contaminants over huge swaths of land, polluting the environment for multiple generations spanning hundreds of years. Reactor fuel rods have a protective zirconium cladding, which if superheated while exposed to air will burn with intense self-generating heat, much like a magnesium fire, releasing highly radioactive aerosols and smoke. Had it not been for heroic efforts on the part of Japan’s nuclear workers to replenish waters in the spent fuel pool at Fukushima, those spent fuel rods would have melted down and ignited their zirconium cladding, which most likely would have released far more radioactive contamination than what came from the three reactor core melt-downs. Electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) and solar super storms are two different, but related, categories of events that are often described as high-impact, low  frequency (HILF) events. What is generally referred to as an EMP strike is the deliberate detonation of a nuclear device at a high altitude, roughly defined as somewhere between 24 and 240 miles (40 and 400 kilometers) above the surface of the earth. The concern is that some rogue state or terrorist organization might build their own nuclear device from scratch or buy one illegally, procure a Scud missile (or similar) on the black market and launch their nuclear device from a large fishing boat or freighter somewhere off the coast of the US, causing grid collapse and widespread damage to electronic devices across roughly 50% of America.
A powerful  EMP  from a sub-orbital nuclear detonation would cause extreme electromagnetic effects, starting with an initial short duration “speed of light” pulse, referred to as an “E1” effect, followed by a middle duration pulse called an “E2” effect, which is followed by a longer duration disturbance known as an “E3” effect. The intermediate “E2” effects last a fraction of a second, and are similar to many thousands to millions of lightning strikes hitting over a widespread area at almost exactly the same time.
A “successful” EMP attack launched against the US would most likely result in the immediate collapse of the grid across roughly 50% of the country, crash the stock market, and cause critical failures in many of the electronic systems in affected areas that control nuclear reactors, chemical plants, telecommunications systems and industrial processes. The only good news about EMP strike is that its effect will cover a much smaller area than an extreme GMD, so there will be a significant portion of the rest of the US, as well as the rest of the outside world, left intact and able to lend a hand towards rebuilding critical infrastructure in the affected areas. The congressionally mandated EMP Commission has studied the threat of both EMP and extreme GMD events, and made recommendations to the US congress to implement protective devices and procedures to insure the survival of the grid and other critical infrastructures in either event.
For the cost of a single B-2 bomber or a tiny fraction of the TARP bank bailout, we could invest in preventative measures to avert what might well become the end of our civilization and life as we know it!


Such pulses will not only cause the light to go out, but completely destroy electrical devises and the computer systems in modern vehicles. The long-time foe of the United States will reportedly soon be capable of launching an electromagnetic pulse attack against America, if the former intelligence expert is correct. Simple ballistic missiles, like SCUDs, could reportedly be launched from off-shore freighters, from low-yield nuclear weapons, and from low-earth-orbit satellites. Representative Scott Perry also addressed the possibility of an EMP attack during a House Committee on Homeland Security meeting in May.
Singer said that a power grid blackout sparked by an electromagnetic surge is the “most significant danger” facing the world. Singer, as many others who have long realized the doomsday scenario created by an EMP attack and down power grid, also said the government and other groups should be stockpiling spare parts and create an emergency response plan.
His SHIELD Act, a piece of legislation designed to upgrade and harden the power grid, has been stalled in committee for at least a year.
Although often regarded as the most severe type of attack including power, water, fuel, communications, and transportation, few critical infrastructure attacks have been perpetrated to this day. An Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) occurs after a nuclear device is detonated, and disables all electronic devices within range.
Consider the millions of innocent victims that have already died or continue to suffer from horrific radiation-related health problems (“Chernobyl AIDS”, epidemic cancers, chronic fatigue, etc) resulting from the Chernobyl reactor explosions, fires, and fallout.
If an extreme GMD of such magnitude were to occur today, in all likelihood it would initiate a chain of events leading to catastrophic failures at the vast majority of our world’s nuclear reactors, quite similar to the disasters at both Chernobyl and Fukushima, but multiplied over 100 times.
The good news is that relatively affordable equipment and processes could be installed to protect critical components in the electric power grid and its nuclear reactors, thereby averting this “end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it” scenario. We depend on this grid to maintain food production and distribution, telecommunications, Internet services, medical services, military defense, transportation, government, water treatment, sewage and garbage removal, refrigeration, oil refining and gas pumping, and to conduct all forms of commerce. After a few days without electricity to run the cooling system pumps, the water bath covering the spent fuel rods stored in “spent fuel ponds” will boil away, allowing the stored fuel rods to melt down and burn [2]. The result of which in short order will end the industrialized world as we know it, incurring almost incalculable suffering, death, and environmental destruction on a scale not seen since the extinction of the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago. In March of 1989, a severe solar storm induced powerful electric currents in grid wiring that fried a main power transformer in the HydroQuebec system, causing a cascading grid failure that knocked out power to 6 million customers for nine hours while also damaging similar transformers in New Jersey and the United Kingdom. This extreme GMD produced ground currents roughly ten times as strong as the 1989 Quebec incident.
Given the fact that a simple electrostatic spark can fry a microchip, and many thousands of miles of power lines act like giant antennas for capturing massive amounts of GMD spawned electromagnetic energy, the electrical systems of the modern world are far more vulnerable than their predecessors. Under the auspices of the EMP Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and reviewed in depth by the Oakridge National Laboratory and the National Academy of Sciences,  Metatech corporation undertook extensive modeling and analysis of the potential effects of extreme geomagnetic storms upon the U.S.
Given the fact that there is currently a three year waiting list for a single EHV transformer (due to recent demand from China and India, the lead times have grown from one to three years), and that the total global manufacturing capacity is roughly 100 EHV transformers per year when the world’s manufacturing centers are functioning properly, you can begin to grasp the dire implications of this situation. It will take years at best for the industrialized world to put itself back together after such an event, especially considering the fact that most of the manufacturing centers that make this equipment will also be grappling with widespread grid failure.
Nuclear power plants are designed to disconnect automatically from the grid in the event of a local power failure or major grid anomaly, and once disconnected they begin the process of shutting down the reactor's core. Similarly, according to Japanese authorities it was not direct damage from Japan’s 9.0 magnitude Tohoku Earthquake on March 11, 2011 that caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor disaster, but the loss of electric power to the reactor’s cooling system pumps when the reactor’s backup batteries and diesel generators were wiped out by the ensuing tidal waves. Lacking a permanent spent nuclear fuel storage facility, so-called “temporary” nuclear fuel containment ponds are features common to nearly all nuclear reactor facilities.
A study by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) determined that the “boil down time” for  spent fuel rod containment ponds runs from between 4 and 22 days after loss of cooling system power before degenerating into a Fukushima-like situation, depending upon the type of nuclear reactor and how recently its latest batch of fuel rods had been decommissioned[9]. According to Arnie Gundersen, former Senior Vice President for Nuclear Engineering Services Corporation, now turned nuclear whistle-blower, once a zirconium fire has started, due to its extreme temperatures and high degree of reactivity, contact with water will result in the water dissociating into hydrogen and oxygen gases, which will almost certainly lead to violent explosions. Japanese officials have estimate that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster has already released into the local environment just over half the total radioactive contamination as was released by Chernobyl, but other sources estimate it could be significantly more than was released by the accident at Chernobyl.
Events categorized as HILF don’t happen very often, but if and when they do they have the potential to severely affect the lives of many millions of people. Nuclear detonations of this type have the potential to cause serious damage to electronics and electrical power grids along their line of sight, covering huge distances on the order of a circular area 1,500 miles (2,500 kilometers) in diameter, which would correspond to an area stretching roughly from Quebec City in Canada down to Dallas, Texas.
Much like an extreme GMD, a powerful EMP attack would also cause widespread grid collapse, but it would be limited to a much smaller geographical area.
The “E1” effect lasts on the order of a few nanoseconds, and is quite similar to massive discharges of electrostatic sparks, which are particularly damaging to digital microelectronic chips  that are at the core of most modern electronic equipment.
In the case of a nuclear induced EMP, its E3 effect starts after about a half second and may continue for several minutes. These systems include programmable logic controllers (PLC), digital control systems (DCS),  and supervisory control and data acquisition systems (SCADA). Imagine the near total loss of a functioning infrastructure across an area of about a million square miles (approximately 1.6 million square kilometers, roughly equivalent to 50 Hurricane Katrinas happening simultaneously) and you will have some idea of the potentially crippling effect of an EMP attack from a single medium sized sub-orbital nuclear detonation! John Kappenman, author of the Metatech study, estimates that it would cost on the order of $1 billion to build special protective devices into the US grid to protect its EHV transformers from EMP or extreme GMD damage, and to build stores of critical replacement parts should some of these items be damaged or destroyed.
There is no way to protect against all possible effects from an extreme GMD or an EMP attack, but certainly we could implement measures to protect against the worst effects. Every citizen can do their part to push for legislation to move towards this goal, and to work inside our homes and communities to develop local resilience and self reliance, so that in the event of a long term grid-down scenario, we might make the most of a bad situation. Power Grid,” Metatech Corporation, prepared for Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Meta-R-319, January 2010, p.
Lovett, “What if the Biggest Solar Storm on Record Happened Today?” National Geographic News, March 2, 2011.


PRM-50-96,” Foundation for Resilient Societies before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, p.
Peter Vincent Pry, “Statement Before the Congressional Caucus on EMP,” EMPact America, February 15, 2011.
Forstchen has pointed out to both government officials and in his bestselling books, thousands of planes are in the sky above the United States at any given moment. Woosley is calling for the Obama administration and Congress to upgrade the nation’s missile defense systems to prevent a power grid failure. Perry said the consequences of an EMP attack would be “catastrophic” and aptly noted that all information and power systems would cease to function. Imagine what havoc it would wreak on our civilization and the planet’s ecosystems if we were to suddenly witness not just one or two nuclear melt-downs but 400 or more! If just two serious nuclear disasters, spaced 25 years apart, could cause such horrendous environmental catastrophes,  it is hard to imagine how we could ever hope to recover from hundreds of similar nuclear incidents occurring simultaneously across the planet. The bad news is that even though panels of scientists and engineers have studied the problem, and the bi-partisan congressional EMP commission has presented a list of specific recommendations to congress, our leaders have yet to approve and implement a single significant preventative measure! Since the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) currently mandates that only one week’s supply of backup generator fuel needs to be stored at each reactor site, it is likely that after we witness the spectacular night-time celestial light show from the next extreme GMD we will have about one week in which to prepare ourselves for Armageddon.
Just 62 years earlier, the great granddaddy of recorded GMDs, referred to as “The Carrington Event,” raged from August 28 to September 4, 1859. In the event of the loss of coolant flow to an active nuclear reactor's core, the reactor will start to melt down and fail catastrophically within a matter of a few hours at most.
In the hours and days after the tidal waves shuttered the cooling systems, the cores of reactors number 1, 2, and 3 were in full meltdown and released hydrogen gas, fueling explosions which breached several reactor containment vessels and blew the roof off the building housing the spent fuel storage pond of reactor number 4. They typically contain the accumulated spent fuel from 10 or more decommissioned reactor cores. Gundersen says that once a zirconium fuel rod fire has started, the worst thing you could do is to try to quench the fire with water streams, since this action will only make matters worse and lead to violent explosions. In the event that an extreme GMD induced long-term grid collapse covering much of the globe, if just half of the world’s spent fuel ponds were to boil off their water and become radioactive zirconium fed infernos, the ensuing contamination could far exceed the cumulative effect of 400 Chernobyls. Think of an EMP as a super-powerful radio wave capable of inducing damaging voltage spikes in electrical wires and electronic devices across vast geographical areas.
The E3 effect can be thought of as a “long slow burn”, and electromagnetically it is quite similar to the effects from an extreme GMD, except that the latter may continue for a number of hours or days. Kappenman estimates that it would cost significantly less than $1 billion to store at least a year’s worth of diesel fuel for backup generators at each US nuclear facility and to store sets of critical spare parts, such as backup generators, inside EMP-hardened steel containers to be available for quick change-out in the event that any of these items were damaged by an EMP or GMD[12]. Since 2008, Congress has narrowly failed to pass legislation that would implement at least some of the EMP Commission’s recommendations[13].
The same tools that are espoused by the “Transition Movement” for developing local self-reliance and resilience to help cope with the twin effects of climate change and peak oil could also serve communities well in the event of an EMP attack or extreme GMD. If the power grid fails due to an EMP attack, millions of lives will be lost and the economy will take likely take a nose dive that is could take decades to recover from – if ever. An EMP attack would likely ruin onboard computers and send planes spiraling to the ground – killing both those aboard and countless others at the crash site and those impacted by the roaring fires which would also surely result from such an incident.
Peter Vincent Pry, the executive director of the Congressional advisory board on both the National and Homeland Security Task Forces and the US Nuclear Strategy Forum, also once again offered insight into the significant threat to society which would occur if an EMP attack of solar flare took down the power grid, during the meeting. Non-nuclear EMPs can be loaded in cruise missiles or as the payload of bombs and cause widespread equipment failure, as shown in the figure below. How likely is it that our world might experience an event that could ultimately cause hundreds of reactors to fail and melt down at approximately the same time?  I venture to say that, unless we take significant protective measures, this apocalyptic scenario is not only possible but probable. This extreme GMD induced currents so powerful that telegraph lines, towers, and stations caught on fire at a number of locations around the world. Based upon a storm of intensity equal to the Great Geomagnetic Storm of 1921, Metatech estimated that within the US induced voltage and current spikes, combined with harmonic anomalies, would severely damage or destroy over 350 EHV power transformers critical to the functioning of the U.S.
Due to lack of a permanent repository, most of these fuel containment ponds are greatly overloaded and tightly packed beyond original design.
Gundersen believes the massive explosion that blew the roof off the spent fuel pond at Fukushima was caused by zirconium induced hydrogen dissociation[10].
If our country were to implement safeguards to protect our grid and nuclear power plants from EMP, it would also eliminate the primary incentive for a terrorist to launch an EMP attack.
The presence of the most recently spotted vessel caused alarm among national security experts. Best estimates are that the Carrington Event was approximately 50% stronger than the Great Geomagnetic Storm of 1921[6]. They are generally surrounded by common light industrial buildings, with concrete walls and corrugated steel roofs. Cliver, “Low-Altitude Auroras: The Magnetic Storm of 14-15 May 1921,” Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 63, (2001), p.
Pry cited Franks’ SHIELD Act as an example of the government’s unwillingness to act upon the concerns voiced by experts and security officials. Since we are headed into an active solar period, much like the one preceding the Carrington Event, scientists are concerned that conditions could be ripe for the next extreme GMD[7].
Svalgaard, “The 1859 Solar-Terrestrial Disturbance and the Current Limits of Extreme Space Weather Activity,” Solar Physics (2004) 224, P.




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