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2013-02-11 -Short Attention Span Theater-
Guide to EMP
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Posted by BrerRabbit 2013-02-11 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6489 views ]  Top


[MADONNA'S "BURN ME UP" Song, Video here].

Why, yes, yes Madonna, I would be very pleased.
Posted by JosephMendiola 2013-02-11 00:49||   2013-02-11 00:49|| Front Page Top

#2 A 2007 government report on "Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System" was partly declassified only last fall. The Foreword of the document used weasel words to slight the fact that some of the information remains classified:
except that several pages of information deemed classified are available to readers who have the necessary security clearance.
We regret to long delay in approving this report for public release. We understand the need to safeguard security information that may need to remain classified. But openness is also required to accelerate the progress with current technology and implementation of research and development of new technology to better protect the nation from terrorism and other threats.

Systemic vulnerability is far more extensive than just to EMP attacks. It has been stated a few men with .50 rifles could destroy sufficient key high voltage transformers that a large part of the US electrical grid would be down for months at a time.
High-voltage transformers are of particular concern because they are vulnerable both from within and from outside the substations where they are located. These transformers are very large, difficult to move, often custom-built, and difficult to replace. Most are no longer made in the United States, and the delivery time for new ones could run from months to years.
Online version of report is available here.
Posted by Anguper Hupomosing9418 2013-02-11 05:12||   2013-02-11 05:12|| Front Page Top

#3 I would like to take a contrarian view. EMPs were studied as weapons a long time ago. The ONLY efficient generator of EMPs is an atomic bomb. And it was found that for an EMP to have any effect, it had to be well within the range that the nuke would have a FAR more devastating effect that whatever negligible results the EMP delivers. And if you have a 1978 Chevy with a carburator the effects of the EMP are nil, provided you survive the nuke blast. I think all this hysterical EMP talk is simply alarmist blather. The information at the blog linked here can be easily debunked by anyone willing to do research and who understands science. IMNSHO.

That said, hardening infrastructure to protect against solar flares makes sense. But EMP panic? Much less so.
Posted by Scooter McGruder 2013-02-11 09:23||   2013-02-11 09:23|| Front Page Top

#4 Scooter,
I get your points is simply alarmist blather. but, there's an alternative that such alamism can lead to huge sums of taxes being doled out to favored sons (see global warming)and grow the power of the despot class.

Never let a crisis, real or fiction, go to waste.
Posted by Alanc 2013-02-11 10:03||   2013-02-11 10:03|| Front Page Top

#5 Current effects of EMP are hotly debated, including among experts advising the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and Congress on such issues. The most recent publicly released report, from 2008, on the topic can be found here

The 2008 commission found that:

The electromagnetic pulse generated by a high altitude nuclear explosion is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. The increasingly pervasive use of electronics of all forms represents the greatest source of vulnerability to attack by EMP. Electronics are used to control, communicate, compute, store, manage, and implement nearly every aspect of United States (U.S.) civilian systems. When a nuclear explosion occurs at high altitude, the EMP signal it produces will cover the wide geographic region within the line of sight of the detonation. This broad band, high amplitude EMP, when coupled into sensitive electronics, has the capability to produce widespread and long lasting disruption and damage to the critical infrastructures that underpin the fabric of U.S. society.

Our infrastructure systems have become much more complex, more interdependent and more vulnerable than was the case when EMP was first studied in earlier decades. Not only are we dependent on much more complex systems today, the components of those systems have changed significantly. For instance, just looking at the components of single devices such as PCs or auto transmissions, the integrated circuitry chips in them are now designed with far greater density of transistors etc. and with much tighter expectations about clean power signals into the chips.

Now consider how much more *connected* we and our devices have become for banking, integrated supply chains in industry, etc.

Since late 2008 DTRA has funded basic research into network science with a focus on new mathematics needed to model cascading failures across networks of all kinds, including the resilience vs. vulnerability of interdependent networked systems such as power grid coupled with communications networks.
Posted by lotp 2013-02-11 15:10||   2013-02-11 15:10|| Front Page Top

#6 Does this mean I should learn how to get to my mailbox without depending on my GPS?
Posted by gorb 2013-02-11 15:45||   2013-02-11 15:45|| Front Page Top

#7 It means there won't be a point if your mailman relies on the power grid still existing in order to pump gas into his truck to deliver mail or if your grocer relies on power delivered from upper Ontario in order to keep the shredded potatoes refrigerated.... und so weiter, for 300 million people....
Posted by Thing From Snowy Mountain 2013-02-11 16:23||   2013-02-11 16:23|| Front Page Top

#8 They EMPed us, we nuked them.

It's all relative as it were. Our dead iPhones against your multiple craters.
Posted by Shipman 2013-02-11 16:45||   2013-02-11 16:45|| Front Page Top

#9 Shipman, the problem is knowing WHO to nuke. Some organization without a country EMPs us, who do we hit back? Besides Mecca, on general principles.
Posted by Glenmore 2013-02-11 18:49||   2013-02-11 18:49|| Front Page Top

#10 Shipman, more than iPhones would be dead in the civilian sector over a relatively short period of time after an effective EMP attack.

Re: 'nuked them' - it's quite possible that there would be serious issues with regard to verifying who's in command and authorized to order such a strike.
Posted by lotp 2013-02-11 19:05||   2013-02-11 19:05|| Front Page Top

#11 "who do we hit back? Besides Mecca, on general principles."

Mecca work for me, Glenmore.

Add Pakistain, NorK, Somolia, Chechnya, perhaps Sudan ....
Posted by Barbara 2013-02-11 19:23||   2013-02-11 19:23|| Front Page Top

#12 Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) has kept the US and the fUSSR out of trouble. The problem with non-state actors and nukes is who do you blame.

We could declare that if a bomb goes off in the US that NKor and Iran get whacked, but threats have to be believable to work. I doubt anyone on the planet thinks the current admin has the stones to carry it out. "Don't call my bluff!"
Posted by SteveS 2013-02-11 19:32||   2013-02-11 19:32|| Front Page Top

23:57 CrazyFool
23:51 European Conservative
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