Energy, Sustainability and Society                              volume  9, Article number: 18  (2019 )

An assessment of threats to the American power grid

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2024-05-12 23:00:02

Energy, Sustainability and Society volume  9, Article number: 18 (2019 ) Cite this article

Concern has been raised that the electrical grid of this nation is vulnerable to prolonged collapse. The postulated mechanisms are geomagnetic storms, electromagnetic pulse attacks (EMP) via a high altitude nuclear detonation, cyberattacks, and kinetic attacks. The likelihood of such events and the consequences to the American public of a protracted electric power failure are reviewed.

The potential vulnerabilities of the American power grid for a prolonged collapse have been the focus of several Congressional hearings and commissions. There has, however, been no formal analysis of this issue in the academic peer reviewed literature. To prepare this manuscript, Congressional testimony, Congressional Commission reports, Federal reports, and all published scientific papers dealing with electrical power grid vulnerability, grid collapse, geomagnetic storms, electromagnetic pulse, cybersecurity, and cyberattacks as regards power plants (searched through google) were reviewed.

The intent of this report is to provide an objective summary of the current science and controversies on this issue for policy makers and the interested public.

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