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Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)...the ultimate threat

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  • #76
    a salaam alaikum
    Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
    “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

    Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
    “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

    George Washington, (1732-1799)
    "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

    Originally posted by Country_Jim
    ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

    Comment


    • #77
      A Salami sandwich to you!

      Comment


      • #78
        http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/gri...z&ocid=UE07DHP
        An early morning passerby phoned in a report of two people with flashlights prowling inside the fence of an electrical substation in Bakersfield, Calif. Utility workers from Pacific Gas & Electric Co. later found cut transformer wires.

        The following night, someone slashed wires to alarms and critical equipment at the substation, which serves 16,700 customers. A guard surprised one intruder, who fled. Police never learned the identities or motive of the burglars.

        The Bakersfield attacks last year were among dozens of break-ins examined by The Wall Street Journal that show how, despite federal orders to secure the power grid, tens of thousands of substations are still vulnerable to saboteurs.

        The U.S. electric system is in danger of widespread blackouts lasting days, weeks or longer through the destruction of sensitive, hard-to-replace equipment. Yet records are so spotty that no government agency can offer an accurate tally of substation attacks, whether for vandalism, theft or more nefarious purposes.

        Most substations are unmanned and often protected chiefly by chain-link fences. Many have no electronic security, leaving attacks unnoticed until after the damage is done. Even if there are security cameras, they often prove worthless. In some cases, alarms are simply ignored.

        The vulnerability of substations was broadly revealed in a Journal account of a 2013 attack on PG&E’s Metcalf facility near San Jose, Calif. Gunmen knocked out 17 transformers that help power Silicon Valley; a blackout was narrowly averted. The assailants were never caught.

        The following year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates the country’s interstate power system, began requiring that utilities better protect any substation that could disable parts of the U.S. grid if attacked.

        FERC’s new rule, however, doesn’t extend to tens of thousands of smaller substations, including Metcalf and the one in Bakersfield. Security experts say a simultaneous attack on several of these substations also could destabilize the grid and cause widespread blackouts.

        Gerry Cauley, head of the North American Electric Reliability Corp., —which writes standards for the grid—was asked at a FERC hearing in June on grid security what kept him up at night. He said the prospect of “eight or 10 vans going to different sites and blowing things up.” Recovery from a coordinated attack, he said, could take weeks or months.

        The Metcalf substation, while undergoing security upgrades, was hit again in August 2014. Intruders cut through fences and burglarized equipment containers, triggering at least 14 alarms over four hours. Utility employees didn’t call police or alert guards, who were stationed at the site, according to a state inquiry.

        Three days after the break-in, Stephanie Douglas, PG&E’s senior director of corporate security, sent a memo to the utility’s president saying security was in a fail mode, and her department lacked clout and resources: She had 26 full-time jobs to protect 900 substations, as well gas pipelines and other utility assets.

        Ms. Douglas, no longer with PG&E, declined an interview request. PG&E spokesman Matt Nauman said the utility has responded with a $200-million program that includes better security equipment, more training and hiring.

        The sprawling U.S. electric system is regulated by government but mostly owned and operated by utility companies and grid operators that monitor electricity supply and demand every minute, every day. The system is always on—and for years few thought anyone would try to turn it off.

        The motive of most substation break-ins appears to be theft. Intruders and, potentially, terrorists also could be trying to hack into control systems through computer equipment in substations—either to cause immediate damage or to gather information for later use.

        “A substation is not an obvious target for criminals like a bank,” said Joseph Weiss, a security consultant to utilities. “Common sense says they want to get into the electric system.”

        The U.S. power grid is like a giant puzzle that can be configured in different ways to deliver power where and when it is needed.

        Major power sources—gas-fired generators and nuclear-power plants, for example—connect to substations that raise voltages to ferry electricity long distance over a network of power lines. At cities and other destinations, substations lower the voltage to safely deliver electricity to homes and businesses. Substation computers help grid operators control those electrical flows.

        The grid was cobbled together during the electrification of the U.S. over the past 125 years. It is a fragile, interdependent system generally more vulnerable in summer when it is running closer to its limits. It is also at risk during low-demand periods, when power-plant operators and linemen perform maintenance. Fewer plants and transmission lines operating mean fewer options for delivering electricity during emergencies.

        There is so much variability in the grid that what causes a catastrophe one day might not the next, which makes security issues complex. Small problems can quickly spiral out of control.

        On Sept. 8, 2011, equipment problems and human error caused a large transmission line in Arizona to trip out of service. The grid is supposed to withstand the loss of any one line. On this day, electric current shifted to nearby lines and overloaded them; that overtaxed transformers at two small substations, which shut down defensively to prevent equipment damage, and disruptions spread.

        San Diego was blacked out 11 minutes later. Traffic snarled. Flights were canceled. Raw sewage flowed into the ocean. Altogether, 2.7 million utility customers lost power in California, Arizona and Mexico.

        Federal officials have long known about the vulnerability of electrical substations. A 1990 report from the federal Office of Technology Assessment warned that “virtually any region would suffer major, extended blackouts if more than three key substations were destroyed.”

        A 2012 report from the National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences looked at different parts of the electric system and concluded that substations were “the most vulnerable to terrorist attack.”

        “We’ve known we had an issue for a long time and have been very slow to do anything about it,” said M. Granger Morgan, a professor of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University who studied the San Diego blackout.

        Security adviser James Holler said his company, Abidance Consulting, inspected nearly 1,000 substations over the past year for utilities in 14 states. “At least half had nothing but a padlock on the gate,” he said. “No cameras. No motion sensors or alarms.”

        One utility lost a set of substation keys that were in a truck stolen for a joy ride. After the truck and keys were recovered, Mr. Holler said, the utility didn’t change the substation locks.

        Richard Donohoe, director of security for the consulting firm Black & Veatch, said the security departments of utility companies are often so low in the pecking order that “the rest of the organization ignores them half the time.”

        After the gunfire attack on the Metcalf substation, FERC required enhanced protection for individual substations “that if rendered inoperable or damaged could result in widespread instability,” or cascading blackouts in any of the three separate sections of the U.S. power grid.

        That is a high bar. Utility experts aren’t sure how many substations the new rules cover but estimate it is fewer than 350 out of approximately 55,000. They say more protections are needed at smaller substations that could trigger blackouts if attacked in combination.

        The exact combinations depend on energy demand and the direction of electricity flow. In spring, for example, hydroelectric power plants send electricity from the Pacific Northwest to California. In winter, electricity flows in the opposite direction, mostly from gas-fired and nuclear power plants in California and Arizona.

        One security-focused nonprofit group called the Foundation for Resilient Societies has called for an analysis of the impact of simultaneous attacks, both physical and cyber.

        Thomas Popik, chairman of the group, told FERC in June that existing grid protections were inadequate and his group believed the grid was “a battlefield of the future” that required military-type defenses for key infrastructure.

        Michael Bardee, director of the Office of Electric Reliability at FERC, said the agency could do more to study security vulnerabilities at the thousands of substations not covered by the new rule. FERC expects a progress report on the new rule later this year.

        “Clearly, there’s some sense that as events go on we may need to re-evaluate the applicability of this standard,” Mr. Bardee said, and possibly expand its reach.

        The Vermont Electric Power Co. approved a $12 million program to beef up security at 55 locations after substations were penetrated more than a dozen times by thieves stealing copper during break-ins from 2012 through early 2014.

        “We haven’t seen a theft in over a year,” said Kerrick Johnson, a spokesman. The utility installed more secure fencing and better security cameras.

        Most utilities are reluctant to spend money on security unless under government orders. They must justify their expenses to regulatory agencies to pass on the costs to ratepayers, said John Kassakian, an emeritus professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

        Security upgrades generally include cameras, lights and motion sensors, as well as password-controlled doors and gates that electronically monitor entries and exits. Terror threats, Mr. Kassakian said, probably seem less pressing than spending to comply with federal environmental rules.

        Utilities don’t always report attacks despite a legal requirement to notify the Energy Department within six hours of any event that could interrupt electricity or if a break-in targets security systems.

        No utility has been fined for failing to comply as far as he knew, said David Ortiz, deputy assistant secretary at the Energy Department: “I don’t have an enforcement team.”

        The Journal found nine substation break-ins over the past two years where theft wasn’t the apparent motive. The tally and details of the break-ins were gleaned from interviews and public records requests. The count included attacks affecting the federally owned Liberty substation in Buckeye, Ariz.

        The substation, about 35 miles west of Phoenix, is a critical link in the southwest power corridor, delivering electricity to heat homes in northwestern states during winter and cool buildings in the southwest during summer.

        On Nov. 5, 2013, someone slashed fiber-optic cables that serve Liberty, as well as the larger Mead substation near Hoover Dam. It took workers about two hours to re-establish proper communications and normal controls.

        Liberty is operated by the Western Area Power Administration, which controls 17,000 miles of high-voltage power lines used by utilities serving 40 million people in 15 states. If this system suffered a catastrophic failure, it would take down other utilities with it, experts said.

        Alarms signaling trouble at Liberty began ringing at a utility operations center in Phoenix 13 days after the communications outage. Dozens of alarms sounded over two days before an electrician was dispatched.

        The electrician expected a false alarm. Instead, he found the perimeter fence sliced open and the steel door to the control building “peeled back like a sardine can,” said Keith Cloud, the utility’s head of security.

        The substation’s computer cabinets were pried open. The substation’s security cameras proved useless: eight of 10 were broken or pointed at the sky, Mr. Cloud said. Most had been out of operation for a year or more.

        Two months later, on Jan. 30, 2014, Liberty was hit again. Two men with a satchel cut the gate lock and headed to the control building. They left after trying, unsuccessfully, to cut power to a security trailer outfitted with cameras and blinking lights, which were installed after the first break-in.

        This time, Mr. Cloud said, utility officials found 16 of 18 security cameras had failed. Most were installed after the first break-in and hadn’t been properly programmed. Investigators retrieved a single fuzzy video from a thermal-imaging camera.

        Mark Gabriel, WAPA’s administrator, said the utility has “taken steps to improve our physical security program and processes,” including creating the security department in 2013 that Mr. Cloud now heads.

        A federal audit faulted WAPA in April for violations of security regulations, including broken or obsolete equipment, lax control over keys to critical substations and failure to install intrusion-detection systems.

        Mr. Gabriel said WAPA spends a couple of hundred million dollars on capital improvements annually, which includes money for security improvements. “The bigger story is how that break-in and others in the industry changed the thinking,” he said.

        Mr. Cloud said he has received about $300,000 for security upgrades at a handful of WAPA’s 328 substations, including Liberty. To protect the system’s 40 most important substations and control centers, he said, he needs $90 million: “I don’t have the authority or budget to protect my substations.”

        Write to Rebecca Smith at rebecca.smith@wsj.com
        Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
        “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

        Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
        “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

        George Washington, (1732-1799)
        "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

        Originally posted by Country_Jim
        ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

        Comment


        • #79
          Or a big solar storm (last major one was 1859 and wreaked havoc then). Pokemon go that!

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by Flank3 View Post
            Or a big solar storm (last major one was 1859 and wreaked havoc then). Pokemon go that!
            Reference post #1


            Severe near misses

            1921
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_19...magnetic_storm

            1989
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_...magnetic_storm

            http://www.solarstorms.org/SRefStorms.html





            I hate the huffpo but I figure I might as well place this here, too.....
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...byls_b_1171129
            Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
            “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

            Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
            “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

            George Washington, (1732-1799)
            "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

            Originally posted by Country_Jim
            ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

            Comment


            • #81
              In a world where electricity is still everywhere and Japan and the world have all the resources available this is the situation at Fukushima....

              TOKYO —

              A record radiation level has been detected inside the No. 2 reactor at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, with the estimated reading of up to 530 sieverts per hour, the plant operator said Thursday.

              The reading means a person could die from even brief exposure, highlighting the difficulties ahead as the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. grope their way toward dismantling all three reactors that melted down in the March 2011 nuclear disaster.

              The plant operator also announced that based on an image analysis, a 1-square-meter hole has been found on a metal grating beneath the reactor pressure vessel, likely caused by melted nuclear fuel that fell through the vessel.

              The new radiation level, described by some experts as “unimaginable,” far exceeds 73 sieverts per hour, the previously highest radiation reading monitored in the interior of the reactor.

              An official of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences said medical professionals have never considered dealing with this level of radiation in their work.

              According to TEPCO, the extremely high radiation level was detected inside the containment vessel, in the space around 2.3 meters away from the base of the reactor pressure vessel.

              According to the institute, 4 sieverts of radiation exposure would kill one in two people.

              Experts say 1,000 millisieverts, which equals 1 sievert, could lead to infertility, loss of hair and cataracts, while exposure to radiation doses above 100 millisieverts increases the risk of cancer.

              The latest discovery spells difficulty in removing the fuel debris as part of decommissioning work at the plant. The government and TEPCO hope to locate the fuel and start removing it from a first reactor in 2021.

              The debris is believed to have been created as nuclear fuel inside the reactor pressure vessel overheated and melted due to the loss of reactor cooling functions.

              In the coming weeks, the plant operator plans to deploy a remote-controlled robot to check conditions inside the containment vessel, but the utility is likely to have to change its plan.

              For one thing, it will have to reconsider the route the robot is to take to probe the interior because of the hole found on the grating.

              Also, given the extraordinary level of radiation inside the containment vessel, the robot would only be able to operate for less than two hours before it is destroyed.

              That is because the robot is designed to withstand exposure to a total of up to 1,000 sieverts of radiation. Based on the calculation of 73 sieverts per hour, the robot could have operated for more than 10 hours, but 530 sieverts per hour means the robot would be rendered inoperable in less than two hours.

              The latest analysis follows TEPCO’s discovery Monday of a black mass deposited on the grating directly beneath the pressure vessel, possibly melted fuel after the unit suffered a meltdown along with two other reactors at the six-reactor plant.

              Images captured using a camera attached to a telescopic arm on Monday also showed part of the grating has gone.

              If the deposits are confirmed as fuel debris, it would be the first time the utility has found any at the three units that suffered meltdowns.

              Following the world’s worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, the plant’s No. 1 to 3 reactors suffered fuel meltdowns.

              Portions of the fuel in the reactors are believed to have accumulated at the bottom of the containment vessels. But the actual condition of the melted fuel remains unknown due to high radiation levels.

              A record radiation level has been detected inside the No. 2 reactor at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, with…
              Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
              “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

              Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
              “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

              George Washington, (1732-1799)
              "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

              Originally posted by Country_Jim
              ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

              Comment


              • #82
                .......then consider what it will be like (x 100) for you and yours after an EMP over North America

                The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, protecting people and the environment.
                Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
                “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

                Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
                “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

                George Washington, (1732-1799)
                "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

                Originally posted by Country_Jim
                ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

                Comment


                • #83
                  43 page report.

                  Electromagnetic Pulse and Space Weather and the Strategic Threat to America's Nuclear Power Stations
                  Last edited by Langford PR; 02-26-2017, 10:22 AM. Reason: meh
                  Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
                  “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

                  Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
                  “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

                  George Washington, (1732-1799)
                  "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

                  Originally posted by Country_Jim
                  ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    ................................
                    For more than 15 years, security and intelligence officials – including former CIA Director James Woolsey – have been raising the alarm bells about the vulnerability of the U.S power grid to an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack.
                    Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
                    “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

                    Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
                    “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

                    George Washington, (1732-1799)
                    "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

                    Originally posted by Country_Jim
                    ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      A video that falsely claims that a Department of Defense (DoD) communications drill will cause the national power grid to go out for several days in early November is causing panic on social media.
                      Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
                      “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

                      Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
                      “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

                      George Washington, (1732-1799)
                      "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

                      Originally posted by Country_Jim
                      ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

                      Comment

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