Entire U.S. Power Grid at Risk of Going down from Small-Scale Attack

According to a study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the entire U.S. power grid could be shut down in a matter of minutes through a small-scale attack on nine of the country’s 55,000 electric-transmission substations.

The danger was exposed late last year when an unknown group of people was able to successfully penetrate a San Jose, California power substation, strategically cutting fiber cables and then firing over 100 rounds of ammunition into ten transformers. The attack highlighted how even a low-tech, small-scale attack could potentially takedown the entire grid.

According to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission study, a relatively small coordinated attack in each of the nation’s three separate electric systems could cause the entire power grid to collapse. If nine out of the country’s 55,000 electric-transmission substations were taken out – in an attack similar to the San Jose attack – the U.S. could suffer a catastrophic coast-to-coast failure of its power grid.

US Power Grid

While the federal government is keeping quiet on how real the danger is, we’ve covered numerous examples of how our nation’s public utilities have been breached in the past.

A memo prepared at FERC in late June for Former FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff,  summed up the danger. “Destroy nine interconnection substations and a transformer manufacturer and the entire United States grid would be down for at least 18 months, probably longer.” Part of the problem comes from the fact that very few of these transformers are still manufactured in the United States, with most of them now coming in from overseas.

A 2012 report by the National Research Council, written for the Department of Homeland Security, said that the “greatest vulnerability in the event of a terrorist physical attack on the power system will likely be securing needed replacements of high-voltage transformers.” It said restoring power “could take weeks, months, or even longer.”

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  1. Has anyone else noticed that the world is playing out like a Tom Clancy novel? It seems like there is a perfect storm brewing with ongoing conflicts in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria and Egypt. Ever escalating aggression from N. Korea, nuclear weapons development in Iran, and high tensions over disputed islands around China. Not to mention that the complete lack of action on behalf of the U.S. after the Russian invasion of Crimea is pretty much an open invitation to all who had previously been held at bay through the threat of sanctions and military action to now do whatever they want.

    Now we have a missing plane that no one can seem to locate. What better way is there to set off a high altitude nuclear device (HEMP)? Consider that with the very strategic and calculated attack on a California power plant a couple of weeks ago. It’s been well publicized that our electrical grid is very susceptible to attack, and could essentially leave the entire U.S. without power for years.

    • You are absolutely right!! Agree about the HEMP threat. The thing is, just like the problems stated in the article re: the Grid, the problems with the threat of electromagnetic pulse (whether solar or by a nuclear wpn) and it’s effect on the US: Congress has been briefed about them. What have they done regarding preventative measures? Nothing. People just can’t or won’t learn from the mistakes history.

  2. Amazing that with all the technology and money spent on spying on the American people that these idiots can’t security the facilities.

  3. I find it strange that the DOE did not regulate the Electrical Components like the DOD does with any part made for them. We can not source out any military parts why would they let any electrical component be sourced. Working in Manufacturing I see it all to often, moving a part away from the U.S to save a few cents. Only to later having the Companies in the U.S go out of business. Then only to realize the part has a price increase, and now they have to leave it in a non-U.S. Manufacturing plant. With no way of bringing it back, since the company is now gone, the machines are sold off,the employees now work in other fields, to put the food on the table.

    • This cheap Chinese copy of America will never think that far ahead. Some days I wake up and read the news and I don’t even recognize my own country anymore- I think I know exactly how Ellis Island immigrants must have felt at times in the past.

      • I agree with you Joe. It’s like a mass mental illness has afflicted the majority of the populace. Common sense, morals, and all vestiges of a work ethic have been thrown out the window by the “progressives.”

  4. I am so ashamed of everyone in America including myself. We screamed and cried cheaper, faster, easier, and better for years. That got everything manufactured in other countries and everthing here assembled half assed. Now we are seeing our mistakes of not being steadfast in seeing “made in America” stickers. Well guess what, we better get it all straightened up and fixed pretty damn quick and get dug in for an ass whoopin’ we deserve. I am absolutely disgusted with the government in this country despite ovomit. I just pray that God has mercy on us all when the SHTF.

  5. Nuclear facilities have generators and can go off of the power grid. Turn two keys,press the button and send one to the culprits special delivery.

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