This page features the following reports: EMP Commission Executive Report (2004) • EMP Commission Report (2008) • Severe Space Weather Report (2009) • America's Strategic Posture Executive Report (2009) • America's Strategic Posture Report (2009) • Excerpts from America's Strategic PostureNERC HILF Report (2010) • FERC EMP Study Acknowlegement of Support (2010) • FERC EMP Study Executive Summary (2010) • In The Dark: Military Planning for a Catastrophic Critical Infrastructure Event (2011)

After you've read each report, please visit our forum to join other members of EMPact America in the discussions that these reports have generated. Click here to visit the "Featured Reports" forum. (If you don't already have a user login for the forum, you may create one by clicking here.)


EMP Commission Executive Report (2004)

EMP Commission Executive ReportThe EMP Commission was established to assess:

  1. The nature and magnitude of potential high-altitude EMP threats to the United States from all potentially hostile states or non-state actors that have or could acquire nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles enabling them to perform a high-altitude EMP attack against the United States within the next 15 years;
  2. The vulnerability of United States military and especially civilian systems to an EMP attack, giving special attention to vulnerability of the civilian infrastructure as a matter of emergency preparedness;
  3. The capability of the United States to repair and recover from damage inflicted on United States military and civilian systems by an EMP attack; and
  4. The feasibility and cost of hardening select military and civilian systems against EMP attack.

The Commission was charged with identifying any steps it believes should be taken by the United States to better protect its military and civilian systems from EMP attack.

Download the report in PDF format: Read the Executive Report

After you've read this report, please visit this forum to join other members of EMPact America in the discussions that this report has generated.


EMP Commission Report (2008)
EMP Commission Final Report

The Commission was charged with identifying any steps it believes should be taken by the United States to better protect its military and civilian systems from EMP attack.

The EMP Commission was reestablished via the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 to continue its efforts to monitor, investigate, make recommendations, and report to Congress on the evolving threat to the United States from electromagnetic pulse attack resulting from the detonation of a nuclear weapon or weapons at high altitude.

From the Preface of the Final Report:

The physical and social fabric of the United States is sustained by a system of systems; a complex and dynamic network of interlocking and interdependent infrastructures (“critical national infrastructures”) whose harmonious functioning enables the myriad actions, transactions, and information flow that undergird the orderly conduct of civil society in this country. The vulnerability of these infrastructures to threats — deliberate, accidental, and acts of nature — is the focus of greatly heightened concern in the current era, a process accelerated by the events of 9/11 and recent hurricanes, including Katrina and Rita.

This report presents the results of the Commission’s assessment of the effects of a high altitude electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on our critical national infrastructures and provides recommendations for their mitigation. The assessment is informed by analytic and test activities executed under Commission sponsorship, which are discussed in this volume. An earlier executive report, Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) — Volume 1: Executive Report (2004), provided an overview of the subject.

The electromagnetic pulse generated by a high altitude nuclear explosion is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. The increasingly pervasive use of electronics of all forms represents the greatest source of vulnerability to attack by EMP. Electronics are used to control, communicate, compute, store, manage, and implement nearly every aspect of United States (U.S.) civilian systems. When a nuclear explosion occurs at high altitude, the EMP signal it produces will cover the wide geographic region within the line of sight of the detonation. This broad band, high amplitude EMP, when coupled into sensitive electronics, has the capability to produce widespread and long lasting disruption and damage to the critical infrastructures that underpin the fabric of U.S. society.

Download the report in PDF format: Read the Final Report

After you've read this report, please visit this forum to join other members of EMPact America in the discussions that this report has generated.


Academy of Science Report: Severe Space Weather Events (2008)
Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts – Workshop Report

Severe Space Weather Events - Workshop ReportThe adverse effects of extreme space weather on modern technology--power grid outages, high-frequency communication blackouts, spacecraft anomalies--are well known and well documented, and the physical processes underlying space weather are also generally well understood. Less well documented and understood, however, are the potential economic and societal impacts of the disruption of critical technological systems by severe space weather.

As a first step toward determining the socioeconomic impacts of extreme space weather events and addressing the questions of space weather risk assessment and management, a public workshop was held in May 2008. The workshop brought together representatives of industry, the government, and academia to consider both direct and collateral effects of severe space weather events, the current state of the space weather services infrastructure in the United States, the needs of users of space weather data and services, and the ramifications of future technological developments for contemporary society's vulnerability to space weather. The workshop concluded with a discussion of un- or underexplored topics that would yield the greatest benefits in space weather risk management.

Open the report directly from the National Academies Press web site: Read the full report

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America's Strategic Posture Reports - Executive and Final Report (2009)

Reports of Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States

America's Strategic PostureAmerica's Strategic Posture Final ReportExcerpts from America's Strategic Posture Report

The initiative for a bipartisan, independent, forward-looking assessment of America’s strategic posture came from the U.S. Congress in 2008. The United States Institute of Peace served as the project facilitator, while the Congressional Commission investigated, discussed, and crafted its final report. Congress appointed a bipartisan group to conduct the review, with William J. Perry as Chairman. The Commission deliberated for eleven months and then reported to the administration, to the Congress, and to the American people. The commission's observations, findings, and recommendations are included in this report.

The Commission agreed that, as long as other nations have nuclear weapons, the United States must continue to safeguard its security by maintaining an appropriately effective nuclear deterrent force. Safeguarding U.S. security also requires that the United States should continue to lead international efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, reduce the number of nuclear weapons worldwide, and provide better protection for the residual nuclear forces and fissile material.

Download the reports in PDF format: Read the Executive ReportRead the Final ReportRead excerpts from America's Strategic Posture

After you've read these report, please visit this forum to join other members of EMPact America in the discussions that these report have generated.


High-Impact, Low-Frequency Event Risk to the North American Bulk Power System (2010)

Cover of NERC 2009 ReportThe North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) partnered in July of 2009 on an effort to address High-Impact, Low-Frequency risks to the North American bulk power system. In August, NERC formed a steering committee made up of industry and risk experts to lead the development of an initial workshop on the subject, chaired by Scott Moore, VP Transmission System & Region Operations for American Electric Power, and Robert Stephan, Former Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection in the National Protection and Programs Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The workshop was held in Washington, D.C. on November 9–10, 2009.

The approximately 110 attendees at the closed session included representatives from the United States’ Congressional Staff, Department of Defense (DOD), DHS, DOE, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), EMP Commission, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Representatives from each of the North American electric industry’s major sectors, including investor owned utilities, cooperatives, and municipal utilities were also in attendance.

The workshop was divided into three tracks: Cyber or Physical Coordinated Attack, Pandemic, and Geomagnetic Disturbance / Electro-magnetic Pulse risk. Each track was given a set of questions to answer as part of a moderated, interactive dialog designed to identify next steps on each of these risks. Topics discussed during the working sessions included: approaches to measure and monitor HILF risks, potential mitigation steps, and formulating an effective public/private partnership to more effectively address these issues. Focus was given to determining the appropriate balance of prevention, resilience, and restoration.

Download the report in PDF format: Read the full report

After you've read this report, please visit this forum to join other members of EMPact America in the discussions that this report has generated.


Federal Energy Regulatory Commission EMP Study (2010)

Acknowledgement of Support Executive SummaryThe Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released an important study consisting of a series of comprehensive technical reports produced by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (for FERC) in joint sponsorship with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

It was issued to provide the basis for a technical understanding of how EMP threats affect the power grid. Metatech Corporation of Goleta, CA prepared the reports under the direction of Dr. Ben McConnell of the Power and Energy Systems Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

From the Executive Summary:

The nation’s power grid is vulnerable to the effects of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), a sudden burst of electromagnetic radiation resulting from a natural or man-made event. EMP events occur with little or no warning and can have catastrophic effects, including causing outages to major portions of the U.S. power grid possibly lasting for months or longer. Naturally occurring EMPs are produced as part of the normal cyclical activity of the sun while man-made EMPs, including Intentional Electromagnetic Interference (IEMI) devices and High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP), are produced by devices designed specifically to disrupt or destroy electronic equipment or by the detonation of a nuclear device high above the earth’s atmosphere. EMP threats have the potential to cause wide scale long-term losses with economic costs to the United States that vary with the magnitude of the event. The cost of damage from the most extreme solar event has been estimated at $1 to $2 trillion with a recovery time of four to ten years,1 while the average yearly cost of installing equipment to mitigate an EMP event is estimated at less than 20 cents per year for the average residential customer.

Naturally occurring EMP events resulting from magnetic storms that flare on the surface of the sun are inevitable. Although we do not know when the next significant solar event will occur, we do know that the geomagnetic storms they produce have occurred at varying intensities throughout history. We are currently entering an interval of increased solar activity and are likely to encounter an increasing number of geomagnetic events on earth.

Download the reports in PDF format: Read the Acknowlegement of SupportRead the Executive Summary (including "Guide to This Study")

The following links open PDF files of the underlying reports directly from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory web site:

Meta-R-319Meta-R-320Meta-R-321Meta-R-322Meta-R-323 • >Meta-R-324

After you've read this report, please visit this forum to join other members of EMPact America in the discussions that this report has generated.


In the Dark: Military Planning for a Catastrophic Critical Infrastructure Event (2011)

USAWC reportThe US Army War College held a workshop in 2010 to discuss how an EMP would affect military planning. This report documents the activities and conclusions of that workshop.

From the report:

"The preservation of the electric grid is central to the defense of the United States. To assess the state of preparedness of the United States in the event of the loss of critical infrastructure, especially of electrical and communications infrastructure, the Center of Strategic Leadership at the U.S. Army War College conducted a three day workshop which assembled a body of subject matter experts, civic leaders, and electric industry providers to create awareness, discuss threat postures, and recommend actions to better prepare for the possibility of a critical infrastructure failure or collapse of the electrical grid and associated electronic devices due to either a solar storm, electromagnetic pulse (EMP), or a cyber attack."

Henry Schwartz, founder and chairman of EMPact America, was invited to give a presentation at the workshop, for which the video below was recorded:

Download the PDF file of this report: Read the full report.

 


This page features the following reports: EMP Commission Executive Report (2004) • EMP Commission Report (2008) • Severe Space Weather Report (2009) • America's Strategic Posture Executive Report (2009) • America's Strategic Posture Report (2009) • Excerpts from America's Strategic PostureNERC HILF Report (2010) • FERC EMP Study Acknowlegement of Support (2010) • FERC EMP Study Executive Summary (2010) • In The Dark: Military Planning for a Catastrophic Critical Infrastructure Event (2011)

After you've read each report, please visit our forum to join other members of EMPact America in the discussions that these reports have generated. Click here to visit the "Featured Reports" forum. (If you don't already have a user login for the forum, you may create one by clicking here.)