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February 13, 2010

Increasing Civilization Robustness - preventing shorting out the grid, resist fire and damage

There is a 208 page EMP (electromagnetic Pulse)Commission report which discusses the interconnections between critical infrastructure and specific steps to increase robustness and recoverability

The Department of Homeland Security has responsibility in the USA to get these kinds of plans implemented. There is an office of infrastructure protection. The plans and documents that are on the Office of Infrastructure Protection Plan tend to be very general in terms of describing processes and communication. There is not a specific report of key facilities that have been hardened against EMP or other vulnerabilities. There have been congressional meetings on this topic and organizations that have been putting out reports on what needs to be done for the military and civilian facilities.

Department of Homeland Security has a budget of $42-50 billion $42 billion in 2007 and $50 billion in 2009.

The required steps to provide a lot of protection against EMP and other risks was a few billion dollars. So the key recommendations of the EMP commission should have been implemented.

The Electromagnetic pulse risk was discussed before at this site in 2008.

Smaller and cheaper e-bomb and emp devices are being developed. It would be criminal incompetence for the preventive protective steps to still be unfinished.

There are aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines with nuclear reactors of 40-150 megawatts of power. Recently one of the US aircraft carriers provided disaster relief for Haiti (desalination for fresh water and electricity.)



This site has suggested simple ways to re-invent civil defense for reduced vulnerability to earthquakes, hurricanes, and nuclear bombs and other military attacks

Blash resistant wall paper, hurriquake nails and sheltering in place

If the cities do not burn then there will be no nuclear winter. Nuclear winter assumes that the cities will burn and a lot of the burned material of the cities ends up in the stratosphere for an extended period to alter climate

Previous looks at robustness technology




Electrical Grid and Generation Hardening

* There are several thousand major transformers and other high-value components on the transmission grid. Protective relays and sensors for these components are more than that number but less than twice. A continual program of replacement and upgrade with EMP-hardened components will substantially reduce the cost attributable uniquely to EMP. Labor for installation is already a part of the industry work force. The estimated cost for add-on and EMP-hardened replacement units and EMP protection schemes is in the range of $250 million to $500 million.

* Approximately 5,000 generating plants of significance will need some form of added protection against EMP, particularly for their control systems. In some cases the fix is quite inexpensive and in others it will require major replacements. The estimated cost is in the range of $100 million to $250 million.

* The addition of nonsynchronous interfaces to create subregion islands is not known with reasonable certainty, but it might be in the order of $100 million to $150 million per island. The pace of creating islands and their priority will be established by DHS in consultation with NERC and FERC. Moving to at least six or more fairly rapidly is a fair assumption. There will be annual operating costs of around $5 million per island.

* The simulation and training centers are assumed at three — one for each interconnect — for a cost in the range of $100 million to $250 million plus annual operating costs of around $25 million per year.

* Protection of controls for emergency power supplies should not be too expensive since hard-wired manual start and run capability should be in place for many, which is adequate. Furthermore, the test, adjust, and verification will be carried out by the entity that owns the emergency power supply as part of normal operating procedures. Retrofit of protective devices such as filters might be accomplished at a cost of less than $30,000 per generator for newer generators with vulnerable electronic controls. Hardening the connection to the rest of the facility power system requires a protected internal distribution system from the backup generator.

* Switchable ground resistors for high-value transformers are estimated to cost in the range of $75 million to $150 million.

* The addition of new black start generation with system integration and protected controls is estimated to cost around $12 million per installation. Probably no more than 150 such installations will need to be added throughout the United States and Canadian provinces. Adding dual fuel capability to natural gas-fired generation is done for the economic purpose of the owner, yet it has the same value as the addition of black start generation. The addition of fuel storage for the existing black start units is relatively small, about $1 million each.

* The addition of emergency generation at the multitude of sites including fuel and transportation sites is probably around $2 million to $5 million each.

* The cost for monitoring, on a continuous basis, the state of the electric infrastructure, its topology, and key elements plus for assessing the actual EMP vulnerability, validation of mitigation and protection, maintenance, and surveillance data for the system at large cannot be estimated since it falls under many existing government-funded activities, but in any event, it is not considered significant.

* Research and development activities are a level-of-effort funding that needs to be decided by DHS. Redirection of existing funding is also likely to occur.

* Funding for the initiatives above is to be divided between industry and government. Government is responsible for those activities that relate directly and uniquely to the purpose of assuring continuation of the necessary functioning of U.S. society in the face of an EMP attack or other broadly targeted physical or information systems attack. Industry is responsible for all other activities including reliability, efficiency and commercial interests. Industry is also the best source for advice on cost effective implementation of the initiatives

The EMP Commission has chosen to address the following areas in separate sections of this Commission report:
* Electric power
* Telecommunications
* Banking and finance
* Petroleum and natural gas
* Transportation
* Food
* Water
* Emergency services
* Space
* Government
The separation of these infrastructures into different domains tends to obscure the real
interdependencies that sustain the effectiveness and daily operation of each one




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