Monday, October 13, 2008

Nuclear Attack! All Power is Out! Electronics Have Been Blown by EMP What Do You Do?

A one-megaton nuclear bomb detonated 250 miles over Kansas could cripple many modern electronic devices and systems in the continental U.S. and take out the power grid for a long time.
The modern world is vulnerable to having its technology lifeline crippled by simple attacks. Without communication and power, modern civilisation grinds to a hault.
"A rogue state or terrorist organization could easily acquire nuclear material for a smaller weapon for $20 million," says Charles Manto, president of Instant Access Networks LLC (IAN). "That weapon could be fitted onto a Scud missile for as little as $100,000, fired and detonated 80 miles into the air and affect the entire U.S. east coast, causing up to $10 trillion in damage before you spend a nickel to fix anything."

...IAN staff and Frostburg State University physics and engineering professor Hilkat Soysal are teaming -- through a $165,000 project recently approved by the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program -- to create renewable energy-powered, electromagnetic pulse (EMP)-protected microgrids that could provide electricity for critical infrastructure facilities in the event of a disaster.... IAN has developed a patent-pending shielding technology that encloses a room or similar structure and protects it from EMP events. IAN's shielding, which includes electrically isolated layers of steel and aluminum, is up to 70 percent lighter than materials traditionally used by the military and other sources for EMP protection. This enables EMP-safe rooms to be portable.

IAN's shielded rooms can protect mission-critical fiber optic network nodes and data or communication centers. They can also house generators, which, when several are connected, create a micro power grid, or microgrid, that can provide power to a campus or entire communities. _Source
These are contingencies that have to be considered. Biological, nuclear, and chemical weapons are all within the reach of state-sponsored and state-proxy terrorist organisation. Putin of Russia and Ahmedinejad of Iran are two leaders capable of instigating such proxy attacks. China's CCP still holds its pet pit bull N. Korea on its leash, for proxy attacks if needed.

Communities that choose not to prepare for all likely contingencies, are communities that will see untold suffering when the excrement contacts the rapidly rotating blades. New Orleans is not the only city led by corrupt and inept local government. Even state and city governments that are not corrupted to Chicago levels are unlikely to be placing their budget priorities with likely futures in mind. Functionaries see no further ahead than the next election, or the next inspection.

Update: This idea for managing power grids with living neural networks of rat cells offers a certain amount of EMP resistance. Networks of living nerves are far more resistant to EMP than conventional electronics. If such living massively parallel networks can learn to optimally manage power grids in real time, in the face of most recognised hazards including EMP, they may represent a significant step forward.

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Blogger Michael said...

A parallel-capacity uninterruptible power supply system is comprised of multiple UPS working in parallel but without redundancy. Capacity systems do not therefore increase system resilience but they can be less costly to install. However, the primary advantage of a parallel-redundant system over a parallel-capacity system, particularly for mission-critical applications, is during maintenance and/or repair. A parallel-redundant solution allows maintenance work to be carried out without disruption to the load whereas in a parallel-capacity configuration the entire UPS system must be bypassed to allow individual modules to be worked on. The total capacity of the UPS system in a parallel-capacity system is derived from the total number of UPS modules used in a configuration also known as a Total Power System.

4:25 AM  
Blogger Snake Oil Baron said...

I always find it odd when people talk about the potential of a large solar storm knocking out electrical transformers and they mention that replacing them would take a long time because we have so little in the way of production capacity. Why does no one ever say: "hey, lets demand that utilities start creating a stock pile of transformers."

As for what I would do if the power went out for a long time frame... I have a cunning plan.

1:24 PM  

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