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Thursday, December 29, 2011

EMP Threat In The News

It is becoming more mainstream to talk about the EMP Threat. Recently on Fox News and on web based reporting, good explanations on how an Nuclear weapon or EMP attack over the central U.S. could potentially cause a blackout or infrastructure destruction to over half of the U.S.

EMP is of course an intense electro-magnetic pulse that will instantly destroy electrical circuits which is a by product of nuclear detonations but also several countries have been experimenting with EMP weapons designed specifically against the electrical infrastructure as opposed to physical destruction of everything.

For example a 1.4 megaton EMP bomb detonated 250 miles above Kansas would destroy most electronics in the U.S. See map below of anticipated effects radius or area. This of course will cause complete chaos and subsequent death from the total destruction of our electrical infrastructure as the entire U.S. economy is dependent upon this grid.

Actually, nobody knows the magnitude of infrastructure failure and destruction that an EMP attack would cause. All of the conjecture is based on modeling. Electrical grids going down for months - if not years; communications gone;

Reports by experts confirms that the U.S. is totally unprepared for an EMP attack and that Terrorists Groups and rogue nations like Iran are fully aware of what such an attack would do to the U.S.  Conservative estimates are that the U.S. would lose tens of millions of people in the first year and many more to follow
as the infrastructure that virtually powers every aspects of our lives would be down for years to come and in fact may never regain even parts of it's former capacity.


  1. A nuclear EMP device is a very sophisticated weapon that is difficult to make. Delivering the weapon 250 miles above Kansas is a difficult feat. The likelyhood that any nation other then the U.S. or Russia could accomplish this is close to zip, nada, zero. It isn't gonna happen.

    But if any country were stupid enough to do it they would have essentially committed a nuclear attack on us without destroying any of our military capability. This would go down in history as the stupidist act of war ever. We would of course retalliate and turn their country into radioactive dust. So whyt would anyone do this???

    The effect of EMPs are line of sight and the energy decreases inversely with the square of the distance to the source of the energy. Because of this while the "effected" area might cover 1/2 the U.S. the actual effect would drop off so rapidly that someone in Colorado might not even lose TV reception or power or anything. In California they wouldn't even know it happened. The bottom like is the damage will not even be close to the hype.

    That part of the grid that does fail will receive immediate attention from a few thousand power workers who will begin retoring power juist as they would after a storm. The idea that it will be out for 6 months or longer is a pipe dream.

  2. Actually India and China have reliable satellite launching capabilities (and eventually Iran will). 250 miles is well into orbit, and could be disguised as a simple communication satellite or even a discarded booster or other debris. There'd be almost no way of knowing exactly who set it off in any timely manner.
    Second, if you fire off several of them at the same time it could effectively wipe out everything. But in terms of a full military invasion... the critical systems will have been hardened, and would have little to no effect on combat capability. And, you'd still have to worry about every single US troop overseas coming home quick and in a hurry.

  3. China is an unknown in terms of specific nuclear capability but clearly India does not have any EMP weapons. Everything in space including junk is tracked and catorgorized. They know who launched it and where it is every second. To assume we would not know who's EMP it was is naive. The effects of an EMP are greatly exagarrated, it is just as likely that most of the infrastructure would survive and certainly a large percentage would. An EMP as a attack plan is incredibly stupid as it is a nuclear attack which would demand a large scale response but it leaves the military capability intact. It's like slapping a cage fighter in a bar all you succeed in doing is pissing him off. As for moving the military back to the U.S. I can only respond; why? Each military base has a purpose both in keeping the peace and defending us in the event of war. There would be no mass exodus. An EMP is very unlikely for many reasons. If there is to be nuclear war against the U.S. it will be 4000 plus nukes with no warning followed by attacks on other free countries around the world.

  4. India does have nuclear weapons. (As does Pakistan and North Korea.) China has Many nukes. Many more then they'll admit to. And a Nuke, is an EMP weapon if you have the ability to launch it into orbit. And again, India and China, do.

    Now you set off a nuclear bomb in orbit, all sorts of funny stuff happens. Every satellite within several miles radius is blown out of orbit, leaving a big hole where all your well tracked satellites used to be. A flash of all sorts of radiation that will if not blind, at least wreak havoc on your tracking stations. Perhaps, NORAD will be able to put together a list of likely culprits... eventually... Before a full scale invasion? Probably not.

    If I wanted land to grow enough food for my engorged population... Land that was populated by technology dependent people, an all out EMP attack may seem like a perfectly valid option. Not a smart choice, to be sure. Even with every civilian network and power grid off line, any country dumb enough to try would have a hell of a fight on their hands. Course they may be counting on most of us starving to death and killing each other anyhow. I'd call that person, a student of american culture.

  5. I think people are missing the point So what if our military remains mosty intact? Our economic base that supports that military would be essentially destroyed. In other words great damage inflicted for very little relative cost. That would be motivation for anyone that knows they couldnt match the US toe to toe. Dont just brush off the deaths of millions as insignficant.

  6. NO! A nuke is NOT an EMP weapon. It does release a large electrical pulse but the effective range of the pulse from a standard nuke does not exceed the radius of the damage zone. So in theory a nuke will fry your electronics about 50 milliseconds before it destroys it with a blast wave.

    You also miss the point that any nuke, EMP or other, is a nuclear attack. Our intent if we are attacked with nuclear weapons is to respond with a massive retalliation of 2000 - 4000 nukes. This is why it would be stupid for any country to attack us with one nuke or 10 nukes EMP or otherwise. IF we are attacked with nuclear weapons it will be thousands of them with no warning. Even then it will be a suicide attack since it is impossible to take out all or even most of our ability to retalliate and we would retalliate massively.

    Regarding our economic base; in the event of nuclear war the war will be fought with assets already owned. No new planes, bombs, ships or recruits will be available. The war could be over in a few hours to a few months but it will not be resupplied. Win or lose we will fight with what we have at the time.

  7. I'm not here to educate folks who don't want to listen. I expect anyone making wild claims to do their own reading on the subject before making themselves look like a fool.

    But, for reference:

    "In July 1962, a 1.44 megaton (6.0 PJ) United States nuclear test in space, 400 kilometers (250 mi) above the mid-Pacific Ocean, called the Starfish Prime test, demonstrated to nuclear scientists that the magnitude and effects of a high altitude nuclear explosion were much larger than had been previously calculated. Starfish Prime also made those effects known to the public by causing electrical damage in Hawaii, about 1,445 kilometers (898 mi) away from the vertical center of the detonation point, knocking out streetlights, setting off numerous burglar alarms and damaging a telephone companies microwave station"

    (Note: 900 miles away from the 'target'. And 1962... Very little in the way of sensitive electronics laying around at that time and 1.44 megatons is a relatively small nuke.)

    -On Nuclear Winter:
    Based on work published in 2007 and 2008:

    "A minor nuclear war with each country using just 50 Hiroshima-sized atom bombs could produce Nuclear Winter driven climate change unprecedented in recorded human history."

    2000-4000 bombs? That's all our food, all our nice summer days ruined for many many years, and the end of human civilization. The M.A.D. model of nuclear deterrents is an obsolete battle plan.

    A covert attack that leaves little or no evidence, such as 'comm. satalites' or 'junk' with nukes hidden inside, would leave us all standing in the dark, holding our d!cks, wondering what to do next. At that point you can just wait for us to starve or quietly pick off military bases. Do it without waving your flag around, and we don't even have a country to target with all our planet killing nukes.

  8. And yet Hawaii is still there. Wasn't thrown into blackness forever... Hmmmm!

    Every nuclear device has a signature. Within a few hours after a device is exploded the scientists could tell you which country made it and where the source nuclear materail came from. They could even tell you within a few years when the device was made. To believe there is some "stealth" ability in nuclear weapons is naive. There is a very real possibility that terrorists could acuire a small nuclear device from a former USSR territory or Afghanistan etc. and smuggle it into New York City and set it off. In that case simply knowing the original source of the device does tell you who used it. But the rest of the puzzle can be completed and within weeks to months we would know where it came from who bought and sold it and who used it. This is because it is such a small cadre of nuclear weapons "owners" that keeping all this a secret would be impossible.

    Even if Russia or China were stupid enough to set of an EMP over our country thus risking that we bomb them to dust, without a all out nuclear attack our hundreds of thousands of utility workers would begin restoring the electrical system within the hour. Even if it were possible to destroy 100% of the existing system (which it is not) they would have 10% running within a week and 50% within a month or two and 90% within a few months or so. So how does an EMP euate with TEOTWAWKI???

  9. You're talking about f#cking 'signatures' and Laboratories when almost every computer is french fried, and the rest have no power to operate anyway? And how are we supposed to get a sample of this nuclear material from 250 miles away, IN ORBIT?!

    "The United States is frequently crossed by picture-taking satellites (from any number of nations) that orbit at a height of 200 to 450 kilometers above the earth. Just one of these satellites, carrying a few pounds of enriched plutonium instead of a camera, might touch off instant coast-to-coast pandemonium: the U.S. power grid going out, all electrical appliances without a separate power supply (televisions, radios, computers, traffic lights) shutting down, commercial telephone lines going dead, (every car, truck and train and jet stopping in their tracks) special military channels barely working or quickly going silent."
    -- from "Nuclear Pulse (III): Playing a Wild Card" by William J. Broad in Science magazine, pages 1248-1251, June 12, 1981.

    We're not talking about a downed power line or emergency breaker tripped and needs to be re-set... We got these fancy things called Transformers. In the US, we have 1000's of them and they're what makes the power grid work. And they are susceptible to EMP and GMS.

    On a good day, with the power grid up and cars and trucks and trains and jets and computers WORKING, they are difficult to manufacture and transport. And surprise surprise... they are no longer even made in America. Even if we have extra transformers laying around, it's a steel core wrapped in copper wire. They will all melt into a puddle of copper sludge when exposed to over 50,000+ volts per meter of wire . It would be decades before we could manufacture even the most crude replacements.

    We would instantly be reduced to 1850's level technology

    Class dismissed.

  10. But that is the point. A huge EMP or a large number of EMP devices in a perfect pattern of the U.S. will NOT destroy all electronics or all of our power grid. It will be a hit and miss event with large pockets and swaths of untouched areas. Most of the military's equipment will be functional and can be used immediately.

    An EMP will at worst cause power lines to seperate in a few places much like a blown fuse. It doesn't matter if the line is 1 mile or 1000 miles long it will simply seperate in the weakest point or points and will be no more difficult to fix then a line downed by a tree. In fact it would be easier because you wouldn't have to cut away the tree. A work crew could have that break fixed in a few hours.

    99.99% of power transformers are very simple and easy to repair. The copper conductors within are quite large and don't simple melt into a puddle. What would happen in am EMP would be a break in the conductor just like a fuse blowing out. The transformer could and would be easily fixed. In fact power transformers are so simple that any utility "could" fix them onsite. They don't fix them at the present time simply because it is cheaper and easier to return bad transformers to the factory and install new ones. But the point is two high school graduates with a chain hoist and a cheap set of tools could repair or rebuild a power transformer. If you want me to I will teach you how to take them apart and rebuild them. It would amaze you how basic they are.

  11. No. I'm an engineer... You may have convinced yourself you could n!gger rig it, but you have yet to convince anyone else. Give it a shot sometime. Even a minor failure... if 'repaired' will never work correctly again. Put a wire scope on it, I PROMISE... your Sin wave is going to look like a rats nest.

    Do some reading. You'll like it. There's pictures! Pictures of blown transformers!

    If it makes you feel better to keep your head in the sand, that's cool. I'll let you be. But don't pretend you know what you're talking about.

  12. There is a website that is dedicated to protecting home electronics agains this type of threat. Find them at

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