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(USA Today)   The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says EMPs are bad, so we should build a metal shield over our cities or some damn thing   (usatoday.com ) divider line
    More: Scary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, electrical grid, EMPs, terrorist attack, Energy Regulatory, electric company, emergency services, metal shield  
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12492 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Sep 2009 at 10:04 AM (6 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-09-17 11:01:00 AM  
Wake me up when Iran can put a satellite 250 miles in orbit.

/yawn
 
2009-09-17 11:01:34 AM  

ObscureNameHere: dittybopper: some attorney: Sybarite: Or the terrorists could just leave us alone and watch as our aging power grid collapses on its own.

Honestly, were you worried about Y2K?

I was, kind of, but then I had just spent a year fixing that damn problem for my employer at the time. I had to manually check and re-write some 600+ individual programs.

Ugh. Y2K. I worked in merchant Point-of-Sale stuff at the time. Just trying convincing folks that No, your dumb Casio cash register that only prints out dates in YY-MM-DD will NOT die. It doesn't care if it is 1900 or 2000, you will still get a receipt for Combo #2.


I had to have it finished and tested before September 30th, 1999, because October 1st was the start of our fiscal year.

It did have it's moments, though. My boss once asked me what I though he should do to prepare for it at home. I said "Buy liquor, gold, and ammunition". He thought it was funny.
 
2009-09-17 11:02:57 AM  

Claude Ballse: If this is true, then why in the hell are we giving terrorists ideas for the most devastating attacks?!


misinformation.
 
2009-09-17 11:03:27 AM  

dittybopper: EMP? Just keep some electronics in reserve, not hooked up to anything.

The big problem with EMP is that things like power cords, electrical and phone lines, connecting cables, and antennas act like, well, antennas.

Take all that stuff off, and you significantly reduce the amount of voltage that EMP can induce in a piece of electronics. I've got a couple of my ham radios that aren't connected to anything. No mics, no keys, no power cord, no external speaker. They should survive just about any EMP event quite nicely. I've got VHF and HF radios like that, so even if the ionosphere is farked for a while I can still communicate "locally", although I think HF NVIS would probably still work, because added D-layer absorption from a nuclear event would be lessened on a path like that.

If you are *REALLY* paranoid about it, put them in a metal filing cabinet or safe, and then ground it if you are exceptionally paranoid.


I believe you've been misinformed there.
An ideal EMP strike would lay at least 20kv/meter across the entire country. That's what the national threat assessment came up with. So, 1 wires on a PCB 1cm across develop a 200v potential. In general, that's far far in excess of what's needed to damage transistors and break it for good. External wires will amplify the effect of course, but it'll be destroyed either way. A device behind shielding would be ok only if it had no external wiring- which makes it hard to do anything useful. IF you have something like transorbs on all the wiring ported in or out and shielding, BINGO! You've got hardened electronics.

There is little EMP testing done on nonmilitary hardware, but one of the scientists who testified before congress said none of the unhardened military hardware had survived over 10kv/m in testing. So the theory is that there'll actually be plenty of overkill.
 
2009-09-17 11:03:29 AM  
pandabear

States capable of making such an attack on the US at the moment--Russia, UK, France, China.

I'd be a lot more worried if I was Japan, Pakistan, India, or Israel.


Israel?

Why would they cripple their only friend ( and source of money) in the world?

Japan?

I hope you meant North Korea.
 
2009-09-17 11:04:09 AM  

Goldstien Sachs: Not exactly. Price is generally 20% of the submission determinate. Experience, business size, and ability to perform also help. Because I could submit a $20 bid for the "Space Fence" they have been asking about for some 4 years. But obviously, I wouldn't be selected.


Ohh I know, just trolling ;)

/works for gubmint
 
2009-09-17 11:05:51 AM  

UberDave: WorldCitizen: I've always wondered about how well the military and military equipment are protected against EMP weapons. Our entire modern military dominance is based on electronics. Wipe out our electronics, and we go from being the global power to an infantry power with no projection capabilities.


Extremely well....at least in the USAF. I figured this out shortly after having to do countless continuity checks, wire shielding inspections, and cleaning countless contact surfaces during every weapon maintenance operation.

However, if you're driving a panel van across the taxiway and a nuke goes off 100 miles above you, you're pretty much screwed where EMP is concerned.


/I would assume you haven't heard of new developments in laser communications and real time battlefield management?
 
2009-09-17 11:06:11 AM  

Shadow Blasko: Once upon an AARPNET, it was shielded and redundant and would probably have survived an EMP burst.

I doubt it now. Too much traffic on too few hubs. Sure the military networks would probably survive, but the WWW would be toasty.


it was "redundant" because it traveled over phone networks, which were farking everywhere.
 
2009-09-17 11:08:53 AM  

Man On Fire: Shadow Blasko: Once upon an AARPNET, it was shielded and redundant and would probably have survived an EMP burst.

I doubt it now. Too much traffic on too few hubs. Sure the military networks would probably survive, but the WWW would be toasty.

it was "redundant" because it traveled over phone networks, which were farking everywhere.



Redundant AARPNET is redundant...

Wait, what?

/Didn't even realize retirees were even into this kind of stuff...
 
2009-09-17 11:10:44 AM  
scienceblogs.com
 
2009-09-17 11:11:02 AM  
What are we, back in the 50's? This kind of threat has always been there with nuclear weapons. It's like an entire generation has forgotten how to live with the fear of the effects of a nuclear attack. Eventually there is going to be a nuclear explosion somewhere and it's going to suck. Mankind or the earth might be irrevocably changed depending on the scale. Break's over, get back to work.
 
2009-09-17 11:11:24 AM  
Came in for Simpson's picture, not dissapointed
 
2009-09-17 11:11:26 AM  

Oznog: dittybopper: EMP? Just keep some electronics in reserve, not hooked up to anything.

The big problem with EMP is that things like power cords, electrical and phone lines, connecting cables, and antennas act like, well, antennas.

Take all that stuff off, and you significantly reduce the amount of voltage that EMP can induce in a piece of electronics. I've got a couple of my ham radios that aren't connected to anything. No mics, no keys, no power cord, no external speaker. They should survive just about any EMP event quite nicely. I've got VHF and HF radios like that, so even if the ionosphere is farked for a while I can still communicate "locally", although I think HF NVIS would probably still work, because added D-layer absorption from a nuclear event would be lessened on a path like that.

If you are *REALLY* paranoid about it, put them in a metal filing cabinet or safe, and then ground it if you are exceptionally paranoid.

I believe you've been misinformed there.
An ideal EMP strike would lay at least 20kv/meter across the entire country. That's what the national threat assessment came up with. So, 1 wires on a PCB 1cm across develop a 200v potential. In general, that's far far in excess of what's needed to damage transistors and break it for good. External wires will amplify the effect of course, but it'll be destroyed either way. A device behind shielding would be ok only if it had no external wiring- which makes it hard to do anything useful. IF you have something like transorbs on all the wiring ported in or out and shielding, BINGO! You've got hardened electronics.

There is little EMP testing done on nonmilitary hardware, but one of the scientists who testified before congress said none of the unhardened military hardware had survived over 10kv/m in testing. So the theory is that there'll actually be plenty of overkill.


so what you are saying is that we should really spend that extra hundred bucks on the monster cable surge protectors?

I kid, I kid.
 
2009-09-17 11:11:34 AM  
Unavailable for comment:

img29.imageshack.us
 
2009-09-17 11:13:11 AM  
Gawd..I can't wait to get off grid. OFF GRID!
 
2009-09-17 11:13:43 AM  
another point for sci-fi authors who can definitely see the future.

/caves of steel by isaac asimov
 
2009-09-17 11:14:24 AM  
Well it's only a problem if you get some group with access to serious capital to get their hands on a nuke and a delivery system (a missle). Currently - 99.99% not possible. 10-20 years from now - who knows?
But imagine you are living in a large city like NY, & suddenly the lights go out, most cars stop working, & your appliances (TV, PC, fridge, phones, etc) are dead, and it's like this for a few hundred miles in every direction. Then you are told none of it is going to work again for a few months at the earliest. You and a few million other people are going to have to get access to food (spoiling in the stores with no deliveries scheduled since trucks are mostly dead and the highways are jammed with dead vehicles), clean water, all the other essentials you rely on daily.
For real, EVERYBODY PANIC. Most people would be lucky to live past a month or two.
 
2009-09-17 11:14:27 AM  
EMP shields are useless. There's only so much energy one can absorb/divert. Sure, you could stop the incidental EMP from a nuke, but if you designed a bomb specifically to be a massive EMP (not hard, all it takes is a sequential detonation of plastique through a conductive coil) you'll just overload and fry the defense mechanism.

On top of that, set off an EMP outside of the shielded city right next to a power main. EMP travels inside and fries everything anyways.

YOU CANNOT BEAT THE LAWS OF PHYSICS. STOP TRYING.
 
2009-09-17 11:15:16 AM  

dittybopper: It did have it's moments, though. My boss once asked me what I though he should do to prepare for it at home. I said "Buy liquor, gold, and ammunition". He thought it was funny.


We had a bunch of balloons inflated for a New Year's Eve party. I told everyone it was our back-up Emergency Air.
 
2009-09-17 11:15:57 AM  

krackpipe: What are we, back in the 50's? This kind of threat has always been there with nuclear weapons. It's like an entire generation has forgotten how to live with the fear of the effects of a nuclear attack. Eventually there is going to be a nuclear explosion somewhere and it's going to suck. Mankind or the earth might be irrevocably changed depending on the scale. Break's over, get back to work.


Duck and Cover drills..mmmm..good times.

ovalscream.files.wordpress.com
 
2009-09-17 11:16:40 AM  

moanerific: I hope you meant North Korea.


No, I meant I would be worried about such an attack if I were one of the states listed. You have correctly divined the most likely state to make such an attack upon Japan.

There are four state entities and no terrorist entities capable of placing a nuclear weapon 120 miles above Cleveland, as the article suggests. None of them are likely to do so, however.

There are states that have the potential or demonstrated capacity to do so to Tel Aviv, Karachi, Delhi, or Tokyo. And those states are far more likely to do so.
 
2009-09-17 11:16:51 AM  
Damn matrix. Oh wait. the matrix film implied that setting off emps two inches away from your eyeballs will never hurt you.
 
2009-09-17 11:17:18 AM  

GaryPDX: krackpipe: What are we, back in the 50's? This kind of threat has always been there with nuclear weapons. It's like an entire generation has forgotten how to live with the fear of the effects of a nuclear attack. Eventually there is going to be a nuclear explosion somewhere and it's going to suck. Mankind or the earth might be irrevocably changed depending on the scale. Break's over, get back to work.

Duck and Cover drills..mmmm..good times.


Should make it easier to find the bodies under the desks..
 
2009-09-17 11:18:07 AM  

Marshmallow Jones: Well it's only a problem if you get some group with access to serious capital to get their hands on a nuke and a delivery system (a missle).


Who needs a missile when you can just use carry-on?

nuclearweaponarchive.org
 
2009-09-17 11:18:41 AM  

moanerific: pandabear

States capable of making such an attack on the US at the moment--Russia, UK, France, China.

I'd be a lot more worried if I was Japan, Pakistan, India, or Israel.

Israel?

Why would they cripple their only friend ( and source of money) in the world?

Japan?

I hope you meant North Korea.


I think he's saying that those are the countries can be hit by less capable neighbors.

Japan - North korea
Pakistan, - India
India - Pakistan
Israel - Any neighbor that gets a bomb.
 
2009-09-17 11:18:44 AM  

GaryPDX: Duck and Cover drills..mmmm..good times.


In addition, we had tornado drills. Pretty much the same thing, except you had to go to the basement, then duck and cover.
 
2009-09-17 11:18:49 AM  
Forget the dealing with damaged cars and equipment, getting to work, the store and such. Think the day or so after- several million insurance claims within a big city alone. And once folks figure out that gee, my high dollar stuff I've paid high dollar insurance on won't be replaced- a large part of our current social contract disappears.

What happens after that part is the part I'd be concerned with.
 
2009-09-17 11:20:10 AM  
FAR MORE LIKELY: a $250 poor man's EMP bomb :
The explosively-pumped flux compression generator, a 1950s-era device that can produce a massive EMP. Not Nuke-massive, mind you, but enough to take down a few blocks.
 
2009-09-17 11:20:13 AM  

pandabear: GaryPDX: Duck and Cover drills..mmmm..good times.

In addition, we had tornado drills. Pretty much the same thing, except you had to go to the basement, then duck and cover.


My uncle build a bomb shelter..hahaha. It was a pretty cool "fort" when I was a kid.
 
2009-09-17 11:20:22 AM  

dittybopper: I've got a couple of my ham radios that aren't connected to anything. No mics, no keys, no power cord, no external speaker. They should survive just about any EMP event quite nicely. I've got VHF and HF radios like that, so even if the ionosphere is farked for a while I can still communicate "locally", although I think HF NVIS would probably still work, because added D-layer absorption from a nuclear event would be lessened on a path like that.


How is your backup supply of tin foil hats holding out? You might want to ground those out too.
 
2009-09-17 11:21:05 AM  
pandabear

Oh I see I just can't read.

/still hungover
 
2009-09-17 11:24:40 AM  
The other week a friend asked me if I kept my backed-up computer data safe in case we had an EMP occur over the East Coast. I explained that if a nuclear bomb exploded over this area my computer data would probably be one of the last things I was concerned with....
 
2009-09-17 11:24:52 AM  

GaryPDX: Who needs a missile when you can just use carry-on?


I'm less concerned about full on nuclear devices, but very concerned about used hospital-level radiated garbage. Easy to get and apparently nearly as bad if you can get enough of it into the right population centers.
 
2009-09-17 11:27:24 AM  

Somaticasual: FAR MORE LIKELY: a $250 poor man's EMP bomb :
The explosively-pumped flux compression generator, a 1950s-era device that can produce a massive EMP. Not Nuke-massive, mind you, but enough to take down a few blocks.


But Marty, the only place you'd get the 1.21 jigawatts to power that thing would be... a bolt of lightning!
 
2009-09-17 11:27:31 AM  

moanerific: pandabear

States capable of making such an attack on the US at the moment--Russia, UK, France, China.

I'd be a lot more worried if I was Japan, Pakistan, India, or Israel.

Israel?

Why would they cripple their only friend ( and source of money) in the world?

Japan?

I hope you meant North Korea.


Maybe he was saying that Japan could worry (because of NKorea)
Pakistan can worry (because of India), India can worry (because of Pakistan), Israel can worry (because of Iran)
 
2009-09-17 11:27:50 AM  
There's a LOT of argument over exactly how many bombs of what size would be needed to seriously hurt the US in an EMP strike. The guys I've talked to (who work for a living wargaming this kind of thing) say that one 20kt warhead (Hiroshima size) couldn't put the entire country in a "One Second Later" scenario, but it would still fark things up beyond belief for a good chunk of the US that happened to be under it. And in any event, the military electronics are still built to specs that were intended to survive a nuclear war scenario where hundreds of multi-megaton weapons were popping off at a time. The Iranians and North Koreans know this - they're crazy, but they're not stupid - and they know that we could and would lash out quite indiscriminately at whoever we thought fired at us. They would have a very short, exciting period of time in which to gloat.
 
gm
2009-09-17 11:28:19 AM  
We've turned the entire planet into a Faraday cage with all of the power lines/pipes/telecommunication lines/etc. I'd be more worried about a super giant solar flare knocking out power to entire hemisphere.

A nuclear bomb going off in the atmosphere would still be pure suicide for whatever nation did it. MAD still exists when you have second strike capability and diverse methods of nuclear weapon deployment.

Though if either happened, people would be screwed. Having to replace every single transformer/capacitor and every single electrical device effected would cost a shiat ton of money. There really is no way to prevent something like this other than building an even bigger Faraday cage over the one we already have.

No computers, no cars (newer cars with ECU's), satellites, [tele/cell]phones, TV, radio, absolutely nothing. The only saving grace would be fiber and we have a pretty sizable HAM radio infrastructure. You would have to replace the control equipment, but the expertise and cables laid would be fine and likely the hardest part.

We would be screwed either way, let's hope it never happens.
 
2009-09-17 11:29:49 AM  

GaryPDX: Gawd..I can't wait to get off grid. OFF GRID!


The Four Realms books suck.

/I haven't read Golden City yet
//pretty sure it sucks
 
2009-09-17 11:29:54 AM  

AtlanticCoast63: They would have a very short, exciting period of time in which to gloat.


And 72 virgins would reward them.
 
2009-09-17 11:30:11 AM  
I look forward to the Faraday cage over New York City.
 
2009-09-17 11:33:14 AM  

AtlanticCoast63: There's a LOT of argument over exactly how many bombs of what size would be needed to seriously hurt the US in an EMP strike. The guys I've talked to (who work for a living wargaming this kind of thing) say that one 20kt warhead (Hiroshima size) couldn't put the entire country in a "One Second Later" scenario, but it would still fark things up beyond belief for a good chunk of the US that happened to be under it. And in any event, the military electronics are still built to specs that were intended to survive a nuclear war scenario where hundreds of multi-megaton weapons were popping off at a time. The Iranians and North Koreans know this - they're crazy, but they're not stupid - and they know that we could and would lash out quite indiscriminately at whoever we thought fired at us. They would have a very short, exciting period of time in which to gloat.


Yes, but what if it wasn't an EMP but rather a similar 'Event' that had the side effect of throwing Nantucket back through time? Would they gloat or collect up Grandpa's arrow and sling collection?

/how many post-apocalyptic book refs can I put in one thread?
 
2009-09-17 11:33:26 AM  

Braindeath: I look forward to the Faraday cage over New York City.


I'll make the tshirts.
TGIF
Thank God it's Faraday.
 
2009-09-17 11:37:40 AM  
America, FERC yeah!
 
2009-09-17 11:39:07 AM  
It'll happen, and then they'll rob our casinos, but it's ok, Andy Garcia will deliver street justice.
 
2009-09-17 11:39:14 AM  

aedude01: At least we have her to save us.

/Hot like the link


Came here hoping for pics of Jessica/Max. You've made me happy.
 
2009-09-17 11:40:40 AM  
My 1st undergrad degree was in electrical engineering and I am getting a kick out of these replies.

On second thought I am gong to invest in aluminum foil, because this is going to be on big a** tin foil hat to protect the entire country.
 
2009-09-17 11:42:13 AM  

AtlanticCoast63: There's a LOT of argument over exactly how many bombs of what size would be needed to seriously hurt the US in an EMP strike. The guys I've talked to (who work for a living wargaming this kind of thing) say that one 20kt warhead (Hiroshima size) couldn't put the entire country in a "One Second Later" scenario, but it would still fark things up beyond belief for a good chunk of the US that happened to be under it. And in any event, the military electronics are still built to specs that were intended to survive a nuclear war scenario where hundreds of multi-megaton weapons were popping off at a time. The Iranians and North Koreans know this - they're crazy, but they're not stupid - and they know that we could and would lash out quite indiscriminately at whoever we thought fired at us. They would have a very short, exciting period of time in which to gloat.


There's no argument- ONE, at 250 mi, will be enough to hit the whole continental US with at least 20kv/m.

EMPs of atmospheric detonations are nothing like space detonations at all. The EMP is very localized and there's fairly little area that is hit with the EMP which isn't vaporized or irradiated anyways. But, we knew about the space-borne EMP since the 60's.

However, there is a good question of how much military hardware is protected. I suspect that pressure to have electronics be smaller, lighter, greater functionality, and ready on-time for this war, not the next, may have deprioritized the EMP protection on much of our "good stuff". But only the military knows for sure.
 
2009-09-17 11:42:15 AM  

GaryPDX: Marshmallow Jones:
nuclearweaponarchive.org

Well it's only a problem if you get some group with access to serious capital to get their hands on a nuke and a delivery system (a missle).

Who needs a missile when you can just use carry-on?


Hey!!!! So that's who stole my p3n0r pump on my flight back from Copenhagen!
 
2009-09-17 11:43:15 AM  

Way_To_Fail: One Second


the truth you speak. came in here to say this. needless to say, 90% of the population would probably die off. mostly from starvation. in this book, it took a year to even get what's left of the military, mobilized. very scary and a very real threat, no utility power means no USA, plain and simple.

another good one is Patriots: surviving the coming collapse.. it's based on an economic crash instead. the results are quite similar except the US gov never rematerialized after the collapse. again that was about 90% population loss. there simply isn't enough food grown locally in most all of the major US Cities. even if your out in the boonies, you've got some real nasty neighbors to deal with.
 
2009-09-17 11:43:39 AM  

GaryPDX: My uncle build a bomb shelter..hahaha. It was a pretty cool "fort" when I was a kid.


There's a guy out on the shore of the bay where I keep my boat moored who had a scrap submarine conning tower buried in concrete. Kind of fun to look at. I suppose it would work for hurricanes, too.

Don't know why he bothered. A couple miles away there was a Nike-Hercules site. That was a nuclear-tipped anti-aircraft missile. The idea was that would be better to have your own nuke go off 30,000 ft over Manchester, NH, than have a Russian nuke 1,000 ft over Boston, MA. You'd get some EMP from that.
 
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