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Monday, August 15, 2011

America in Danger from EMP attack?

Preparedness, Awareness of EMP Danger is Insufficient to Protect U.S. at Present

Think of it. No cell phones, iPads, computers, iPods – virtually every device that powers life as we know it – would be destroyed. Planes, trains, vehicles of all stripes – all would cease to function, their electrical systems fried.

EMP Cascade Effect - Areas Affected

Terrorists, rogue states, China or Russia could launch an electro-magnetic pulse attack that would collapse critical civilian infrastructures in the United States, warn two congressional commissions, the EMP Commission and the Strategic Posture Commission.

An EMP is a high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy caused by the rapid acceleration of charged particles. Nuclear weapons, non-nuclear weapons (radio-frequency weapons), or geomagnetic storms (often called space weather) can power an EMP, and the resultant changing magnetic field in the Earth’s atmosphere can disrupt electrical systems. An EMP has three main components: (1) An electromagnetic shock disrupts electronics, such as communication systems; (2) an effect similar to lightning rapidly follows and compounds the first component; and (3) the pulse flows through electricity transmission lines, overloading and damaging transmission distribution centers, fuses, and power lines.

In order to prevent the catastrophic destruction that could result from either a nuclear missile detonated at high altitudes or intense solar eruptions that send blasts of radiation towards the Earth, initiatives are needed at all levels—from bilateral partnerships that focus on shared infrastructure to national leadership to state and local action.

A single crude nuclear weapon delivered by an unsophisticated missile could destroy electric power, telecommunications, transportation, banking and finance, food and water across the continental United States.

Without these systems, our modern society would be thrown back into the 18th century.

President Reagan's science adviser and EMP Commission chairman, Dr. William R. Graham, has warned that a natural or nuclear EMP event could cause Fukushima-type meltdowns at all 108 nuclear reactors and widespread radioactive contamination across the United States.

According to the 2004 Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States of EMP Attack (Executive Report), “Several potential adversaries have or can acquire the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication.”

The SHIELD Act (H.R. 668), currently before the House, needs to be passed this year. If it isn't, it may well be too late to protect the national electric grid, upon which the U.S. economy and the lives of 310 million Americans depend.

A Survey of EMP Preparedness Reveals Significant Shortfalls


  1. 1While the ability of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) to inflict catastrophic damage on U.S. infrastructure has been a known fact for decades, a survey of congressional, federal, state, local, and international measures to deal with the threat reveals more complacency than action.
  2. 2America—at all levels of governance—is unprepared for an EMP attack. Despite the clear recommendations of both the 2004 and 2008 EMP Commissions, as well as an official consensus among experts, U.S. government agencies have not moved their EMP-response planning beyond the theoretical stages.
  3. 3Initiatives are needed at all levels—from bilateral partnerships that focus on shared infrastructure to national leadership to state and local action.
  4. 4An EMP disaster is the catastrophe that should never happen. The means to address and mitigate the dangers to critical infrastructure are at hand. The United States needs a greater understanding of the danger—and the determination to act.

AbstractAn electromagnetic pulse (EMP) over the United States could end modern life in America overnight. Whether caused by an enemy attack (a nuclear device detonated above the atmosphere) or by a natural phenomenon (a geomagnetic storm), an EMP can cause entire regions of the country to lose electricity—permanently. Despite the EMP Commission’s recommendations in 2004 and 2008, hardly any progress has been made in protecting the country from an EMP attack and its catastrophic results. The U.S. must prepare to deal with an EMP—now.

Contributing sources:

Protecting America from EMP attack

Electromagnetic pulse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
... and in some cases have published, a number of hypothetical EMP attack scenarios. ...

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Friday, July 22, 2011

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1 comment:

  1. I have the knowledge, ability, plans to build a ground level EMP device that could knock out New York City for under $400. It’s not rocket science.


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