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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i just got this in the Heritage foundation news letter. i thought it was interesting that HF is now talking about it

Morning Bell
08/11/2011

The Devastating Threat to Our Security
It sounds like something out of a movie. A nuclear weapon detonates at high altitude, generating a burst of electromagnetic energy that devastates the United States--destroying electronics, collapsing communications, halting transportation, and shutting down all electrical power. Unfortunately, the threat of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) strike is all too real, and it's time America's leaders wake up to the reality.

But a nuclear weapon isn't the only way an EMP can be generated. Even unusually powerful solar activity could produce catastrophic destruction in the United States. No matter how it's generated, the chaotic effects are the same. First, the electromagnetic shock can disrupt electrical devices. The second effect is similar to lightning—a power surge that would burn circuits and immobilize electronic components and systems. The third is a pulse effect that flows through electricity trans*mission lines, damaging distribution centers and fusing power lines. Any of these can cause irreversible damage to an electronic system. And the United States would effectively be sent back to the 19th century, to a world without cars, cell phones, computers, or any other electronics.

If history is any guide, an EMP would be catastrophic. In 1859, British astronomer Richard Carrington observed an unusually large solar flare. Later, the flare reached earth. Telegraph operators were knocked unconscious. Their machines caught on fire as the EMP effect from the flare surged through the lines. When this event occurred, only a small portion of the world was electrified. A solar flare of this magnitude today might have a much more devastating impact.

"An event that could incapacitate the network for a long time," stated one participant in a U.S. National Academies of Science study, "could be one of the largest natural disasters that we could face." In the film 33 Minutes: Protecting America in the New Missile Age, Dr. William Graham, chairman of the Congressional EMP Commission, explains what that disaster would look like:

Medical services wouldn't be available because they need electric power. Telephones wouldn't work. The traffic lights would stop working. Big traffic jams. Transportation would be shut down. Electronic fund transfers wouldn't work so you wouldn't get your paycheck. You wouldn't be able to use your credit card. Food stocks would run out very quickly. Everything we know about life today that makes it convenient and efficient would be shut down.


On August 15, 2003, 55 million people received a brief object lesson in what life would be like after an EMP event when a major blackout occurred throughout the northeastern United States and Canada. For the most part, services were restored within a day. That would not be the case after an EMP event. Heritage's James Carafano explains in a new paper the potential impact on the United States--and the world:

The result of a massive EMP event could be devastating. Communications would collapse, transportation would halt, and electrical power would simply be nonexistent. Not even a global humanitarian effort would be enough to keep hundreds of millions of Americans from death by starvation, exposure, or lack of medicine.

Nor would the catastrophe stop at U.S. borders. Most of Canada would be devastated, too, as its infrastructure is integrated with the U.S. power grid. Without the American economic engine, the world economy would quickly collapse. Much of the world’s intellectual brain power (half of it is in the United States) would be lost as well. Earth would most likely recede into the “new” Dark Ages.


Yet despite the threat—and the fact that six national commissions and major independent U.S. government studies have independently concurred with the significance of the danger—Congress has merely deliberated it but has not taken substantive action. Meanwhile, the Administration and federal agencies remain mostly ambivalent.

Carafano recommends actions the U.S. government can take to guard against an EMP attack: funding comprehensive missile defense to intercept and destroy a missile bound for the United States; developing a National Recovery Plan and a plan to respond to severe space weather emergencies; and more research on the EMP threat to ensure that the United States fully understands the scope of the danger and can prepare cost-effective countermeasures.

That's why it is time to make August 15 National EMP Awareness Day to wake up America’s leaders to the looming threat. An EMP strike should be recognized as a clear and present danger—one that could be devastating if it finds the nation ill-prepared.

On August 15, 2011, Heritage is hosting a panel event on the EMP threat from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here for more information or to watch the event online.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
-Are nuclear plants prepared to an EMP strike?
(fried circuitry, control pannels, cooling pumps, etc)
IAMNAE, i have read a few articles, that made the statement that power plants were "hardened" against attack. but i have also read things that talk about transmissions would be lost. i do know that they have their own internal safety back up. i remember one of the plants in Japan system failed.
 

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How would solar panels and batteries be effected ? I'm new to this this EMP thing.. I currently have a small solar setup that I can set up in just a few minutes to run a few lights & charge a few things.

Thanks !!
 

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Based from personal work experience (Generally talking here..., not specifically about nuclear plants),
Installation are (in most cases) hardened and ready on day one, after commissioning or upgrade, and then many little things fail with time and do not necessarily get replaced or re-checked... and that is why I would be surprised if (of the hardened structures) many were still hardened after a few years of running... oh dear! :D

HRDROCK2
I would think basic solar panels with no windings or active electrical/electronic components SHOULD be fine. Not the regulators/converters/chargers... anything electonical or electrical acting as an antenna (windings) will fry...

Not knowing what they are preparing for us, I prepare to prep for the worth :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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For people who are freaking out and protecting their spare units with faraday cages
If your unit is laying out on a concrete slab unplugged or plugged in with a physical rocker (airgap) switch in the off position it is Impossible for anything bad to happen to it. exceptions are MOSFET {field effect trnsistors found on 50w and above audio amps } amplifiers or EPROMS erasable programable chips which are hardly found anymore.
Test- Take out your Ipod or radio without battery.next put ipod flat against you CRT monitor(non flat screen). Select Degause on your monitors menu, now get ready for this cool part- press enter - Poof, Got you scared Huh ! now turn it on! works doesnt it. ergo a simulation 10x worst than any solar flares to date.

Very complete coverage of EMPS , look at heading Effects of an EMP last sentence about equipment being off.
http://unitedstatesaction.com/emp-terror.htm

CRS Report to congress page 13 on devices being off
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL32544.pdf
 
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