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«1. REPORT DATE 3. DATES COVERED 2. REPORT TYPE APR 2008 00-00-2008 to 00-00-2008 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Report of the Commission ...»

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2. REPORT TYPE APR 2008 00-00-2008 to 00-00-2008

4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from 5b. GRANT NUMBER Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack. Critical National Infrastructures 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER




Electromagnetic P

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Approved for public release; distribution unlimited




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Table of Contents Page Preface


Chapter 1. Infrastructure Commonalities

SCADA Systems

Impact of SCADA Vulnerabilities on Critical Infrastructures: Historical Insight

Infrastructures and Their Interdependencies

Commission-Sponsored Modeling and Simulation (M&S) Activities................ 13 Summary


Chapter 2. Electric Power




Test Results

Historical Insights




Chapter 3. Telecommunications


Telecommunications Support During Emergencies

EMP Impact on Telecommunications


Chapter 4. Banking and Finance


The Financial Services Industry

Vulnerability to EMP

Consequences of Financial Infrastructure Failure


Chapter 5. Petroleum and Natural Gas


Infrastructure Description

Direct Effects of EMP on Petroleum and Natural Gas Infrastructure.................. 98 Petroleum Infrastructure and SCADA

Natural Gas Infrastructure and SCADA

Effects of an EMP Event on the U.S. Petroleum and Natural Gas Infrastructures

Indirect Effects of EMP: Accounting for Infrastructure Interdependencies........ 102 Recommendations

Chapter 6. Transportation Infrastructure


Long-Haul Railroad

The Automobile and Trucking Infrastructures

Maritime Shipping

Table of Contents ii


Commercial Aviation


Chapter 7. Food Infrastructure


Dependence of Food on Other Infrastructures

Making, Processing, and Distributing Food

Vulnerability to EMP

Consequences of Food Infrastructure Failure


Chapter 8. Water Infrastructure


The Water Works

Vulnerability to EMP

Consequences of Water Infrastructure Failure


Chapter 9. Emergency Services


Emergency Services Systems Architecture and Operations

Impact of an EMP Attack


Chapter 10. Space Systems


Terms of Reference for Satellites

Line-of-Sight Exposure to a Nuclear Detonation

Persistently Trapped Radiation and Its Effects

Nuclear Weapon Effects on Electronic Systems

Satellite Ground Stations

Discussion of Results



Chapter 11. Government


Maintaining Government Connectivity and Coherence


Chapter 12. Keeping The Citizenry Informed: Effects On People


Impact of an EMP Attack


Appendix A. The Commission and Its Charter




Appendix B. Biographies

Table of Contents



List of Figures Page Figure 1-1. Typical SCADA Architecture

Figure 1-2. Generic SCADA Architecture

Figure 1-3. PLC Switch Actuator

Figure 1-4. EMP Simulator with Test Structures and Internal Electronics.................. 5 Figure 1-5. Some of the Electronic Control Systems Exposed in Test Facility........... 6 Figure 1-6. Physical Model Used to Quantify Coupling to Different Cable Lengths in a Hypothetical Local Area Network (LAN)

Figure 1-7. A Conceptual Illustration of the Interconnectedness of Elements Contained Within Each Critical Infrastructure.

Figure 1-8. Interdependency for Anticipated Network of the Future

Figure 1-9. Results of a Model Simulation

Figure 2-1. Power System Overview

Figure 2-2. NERC Interconnections

Figure 2-3. GIC Damage to Transformer During 1989 Geomagnetic Storm............... 33 Figure 2-4. EMP Simulator

Figure 2-5. Test Item: Electronic Relay

Figure 2-6. Flashover Observed During Injection Pulse Testing

Figure 3-1. Generic Telecommunications Network Architecture

Figure 3-2. September 11, 2001, Blocked Call Rate—Cellular Networks

Figure 3-3. Example Network Management Facility

Figure 3-4. Cellular Base Station Equipment

Figure 3-5. Routers Collecting Network Management Data

Figure 3-6. Cellular Network Testing at INL

Figure 3-7. Testing at NOTES Facility

Figure 3-8. Secure Access Card and Cell Phones

Figure 3-9. Percentage of Calls Completed Immediately After EMP Event................ 76 Figure 3-10. Percentage of Calls Completed 4 Hours After EMP Event

Figure 3-11. Percentage of Calls Completed 2 Days After EMP Event

Figure 3-12. Percentage of Calls Completed at Time T (Logarithmic Time Scale) (Within EMP Contours)

Figure 5-1. Petroleum Infrastructure

Figure 5-2. Natural Gas Infrastructure

Figure 5-3. Typical SCADA Arrangement for Oil Operations

Figure 5-4. SCADA Integrates Control of Remote Natural Gas Facilities

Figure 5-5. Examples of Oil Interdependencies

Figure 5-6. Examples of Natural Gas Interdependencies

Figure 6-1. 2003 Class I Railroad Tons Originated

Figure 6-2. CSXT Train Dispatch Center

Figure 6-3. Typical Block Signal Control Equipment Enclosure

Figure 6-4. Grade Crossing Shelter and Sensor Connection

Figure 6-5. Modern Locomotive Functional Block Diagram

Figure 6-6. A Typical Signalized Intersection

Figure 6-7. Container Cranes and Stored Containers

Figure 6-8. RTG at Seagirt Marine Terminal

Figure 6-9. Handheld Wireless Data Unit

Table of Contents



Figure 6-10. Truck Control Station

Figure 6-11. An ARTCC Operations Room

Figure 9-1. A Generic Modern Emergency Services System

Figure 10-1. From left to right, the ORANGE, TEAK, KINGFISH, CHECKMATE, and STARFISH high-altitude nuclear tests conducted in 1958 and 1962 by the United States near Johnston Island in the midPacific

Figure 10-2. Satellite Orbits Illustrated

Figure 10-3. Areas of Space Irradiated by Photons and Neutrons

Figure 10-4. Naturally occurring belts (Van Allen belts) of energetic particles persistently trapped in the geomagnetic field are illustrated

Figure 10-5. Schematic diagram of relative intensities of trapped fluxes from two identical high-altitude nuclear detonations

Figure 10-6. Satellites remaining after a 10 MT burst over Lake Superior.................. 167 Figure 10-7. Satellite ground-based receiver outage time after a 10 MT burst over Lake Superior

Figure 10-8. HEO satellite exposure to trapped radiation produced by Events 11, 17, and 21

List of Tables Table 3-1. Telecommunications Equipment Tested

Table 10-1. Trial Nuclear Events

Table 10-2. Analysis of Satellites

Table 10-3. Probability That Satellites Suffer Damage by Direct Exposure to X-Rays

Table 10-4. Trial Events in Group 1

Table 10-5. Trial Events in Group 2

Table 10-6. Trial Events in Group 3

Table of Contents




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.1 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.

Because of the ubiquitous dependence of U.S. society on the electrical power system, its vulnerability to an EMP attack, coupled with the EMP’s particular damage mechanisms, creates the possibility of long-term, catastrophic consequences. The implicit invitation to take advantage of this vulnerability, when coupled with increasing proliferation of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems, is a serious concern. A single EMP attack may seriously degrade or shut down a large part of the electric power grid in the geographic area of EMP exposure effectively instantaneously. There is also a possibility of functional collapse of grids beyond the exposed area, as electrical effects propagate from one region to another.

The time required for full recovery of service would depend on both the disruption and damage to the electrical power infrastructure and to other national infrastructures. Larger affected areas and stronger EMP field strengths will prolong the time to recover. Some critical electrical power infrastructure components are no longer manufactured in the United States, and their acquisition ordinarily requires up to a year of lead time in routine circumstances. Damage to or loss of these components could leave significant parts of the electrical infrastructure out of service for periods measured in months to a year or more.

There is a point in time at which the shortage or exhaustion of sustaining backup systems, For example, a nuclear explosion at an altitude of 100 kilometers would expose 4 million square kilometers, about

1.5 million square miles, of Earth surface beneath the burst to a range of EMP field intensities.




including emergency power supplies, batteries, standby fuel supplies, communications, and manpower resources that can be mobilized, coordinated, and dispatched, together lead to a continuing degradation of critical infrastructures for a prolonged period of time.

Electrical power is necessary to support other critical infrastructures, including supply and distribution of water, food, fuel, communications, transport, financial transactions, emergency services, government services, and all other infrastructures supporting the national economy and welfare. Should significant parts of the electrical power infrastructure be lost for any substantial period of time, the Commission believes that the consequences are likely to be catastrophic, and many people may ultimately die for lack of the basic elements necessary to sustain life in dense urban and suburban communities. In fact, the Commission is deeply concerned that such impacts are likely in the event of an EMP attack unless practical steps are taken to provide protection for critical elements of the electric system and for rapid restoration of electric power, particularly to essential services. The recovery plans for the individual infrastructures currently in place essentially assume, at worst, limited upsets to the other infrastructures that are important to their operation. Such plans may be of little or no value in the wake of an EMP attack because of its long-duration effects on all infrastructures that rely on electricity or electronics.

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