Skip to comments.Lights out: House plan would protect nation's electricity from solar flare, nuclear bomb
Posted on 06/19/2013 8:33:49 AM PDT by BenLurkin
Amid growing fears of a massive electromagnetic pulse hit from either a solar flare or a terrorist nuclear bomb, House Republicans on Tuesday will unveil a plan to save the nation's electric grid from an attack that could mean lights out for 300 million Americans.
Dubbed the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act, the legislation would push the federal government to install grid-saving devices such as surge protectors to protect against an attack.
"It is critical that we protect our major transformers from cascading destruction. The Shield Act encourages industry to develop standards necessary to protect our electric infrastructure against both natural and man-made EMP events," said Rep. Trent Franks, the Arizona Republican who is offering up the bipartisan bill.
Electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, has come into focus because of fears the sun is pushing out unusually big solar flares that can disrupt the electric grid. Defense officials are also worried about a terrorist attack, possibly in the form of a small nuclear bomb exploded overhead.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...
By the way, those dams only provide about half your power. While Hydro does provide the large majority of your power, the city doesn't own enough to supply the demand.
Seattle City Light's hydroelectric projects on the Skagit and Pend Oreille Rivers provide about half of the power customers need. The remainder comes from a mix of power sources, including long-term contracts with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and others.
Bonneville Power Administration is a federal nonprofit agency.
Don’t hold your breath. The grid will get hardened just about time the fence gets built. We are going to wait on that to happen as fast as we can get our own solar system installed. :-)
In the military, in the 1980s, we had this argument with some foreign units, we Americans had to carry heavy EMP protected radios, while the Danes for example, got to carry a tiny little radio that the unit developed itself, but which was totally unprotected.
The argument was what would happen if some nukes went off, would they be left as useless in the field, unable to send back their intelligence.
Who was right?
Here is a 1993 Canadian report from their defence, Radiation Effects Section Electronics Division on EMP and the PRC-77, the radio we used in the 1980s.
Oops here is the report.
Ever heard of a “Cornonal Mass Ejection?” The Carrington Event in 1859 was caused by one. Telegraphs across Europe and the US failed, many of them delivering shocks to their operators.
The same thing today would probably wipe most electronic technology from the face of the planet.
I stand corrected on the secondary issue of whether most electric utilities are public or privately owned. I incorrectly extrapolated from the local to the national situation. But that is not the main issue here, that is NOT the point of the discussion. The issue is whether the electrical grid is vulnerable to human-generated EMP or solar flare degradation, and I will stand behind my opinion on that issue, which has been researched by panels of well-informed experts and has been deemed a potential threat to national security.
Ok, I was wrong on that point of utility ownership, which is really irrelevant to the main point of this topic, but the issue of whether EMPs are a threat to the electrical grid is the main issue, and I agree with those - including many experts in the field - who think it is an issue. I am getting sick of these moronic conservatives who seem to think that ALL government action is communistic. I think they are mentally challenged, quite simply, stupid.
>> Yeah, like we need more GOVERNMENT solutions to our problems. Oy ...
Actually, there are tasks well suited for the ‘potential’ of the US govt primarily in large scale engineering, defense, and postal.
I haven’t claimed nothing should be done.
I am stating the legislatures, particularly ones that recommend installing hardware that has already been installed for decades, are not the ones to make the right decisions.
Your insults and assumptions of my expertise are really not germane to the decision. And you are the one that brought that subject up; I merely corrected your mistake.
No, the issue is uniformed legislators making the decisions.
And spending our tax and electric bill dollars while doing so. I don't the want effectiveness and efficiency of the EPA, Post Office and IRS used on the electric utilities.
Have you read and understood this report? Does it match the proposed legislation? It doesn't. It describes very different recommendations and also states:
It is impractical to protect the entire electrical power system from damage by an EMP attack. There are too many components of too many different types, manufacturers, designs, and vulnerabilities within too many jurisdictional entities, and the cost to retrofit is too great. Widespread functional collapse of the electrical power system in the area affected by EMP is possible in the face of a geographically broad EMP attack, with even a relatively few unprotected components in place.
Well, I’m not a big fan of the Federales myself, and Congress is full of ignoramuses who have no idea what they legislate about.
But but this definitely falls under “provide for the common defense” and “promote the general welfare” and we’ve already seen a few of these this cycle (they missed thank goodness...).
Ah yea I have.
Do you have any idea how much it would cost to protect the country from it. Several trillion at least.
I was hoping that you would respond to post 45.
Due to security of where I work I don’t always have daytime access to FR except outside on my phone so I will answer that later. Simple answer: The radios would fine in an EMP burst. They might be interrupted and need to be turned off then on, but they would not be destroyed.
There are two radios, the Danes (and others) which had zero protection and was light weight, and ours which were heavy and well protected from EMP, and our radio was very advanced and used for Special Operations units where weight was crucial.
Were we Americans just building all that EMP protection in because we didn’t understand science?
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