Source: Steven Starr’s Nuclear Famine

from the beginning of:


A nuclear weapon detonated in the upper atmosphere will produce a High-altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP). While no blast, fires, or ionizing radiation will be felt on Earth, a single HEMP will instantly create intense electromagnetic fields that will blanket tens or hundreds of thousands of square miles of the Earth’s surface. These fields will induce highly destructive transient electric voltages and currents into any electrically conductive material located in the affected regions, including overhead power transmission lines, telecom lines, and cables. Any unshielded modern electronic equipment, containing solid state circuitry connected to these lines, will be damaged or destroyed.

READ 121 page analysis: High-altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP): A Mortal Threat to the U.S. National Power Grid and U.S. Nuclear Power Plants, 18 April 2023

15 page Executive Summary: High-altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP): A Mortal Threat to the U.S. National Power Grid and U.S. Nuclear Power Plants

Bullet point summary of High-altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP):

— A single high-altitude nuclear detonation will create a massive Electromagnetic Pulse that will bring down most or all of the US national electric grid (and that goes for any national electric grid that has not been shielded from an Electromagnetic Pulse, or EMP)

— In a few billionths of a second, the E1 component of HEMP can induce peak voltages of 2 million volts into long overhead medium-voltage power lines and telecom line, which can create a current of 5000 amps in these lines

— The extreme voltages and currents created by the E1 component of HEMP will damage/disable/destroy any unshielded solid-state electronics found in all modern electronic devices, especially those connected to the grid. The affected area will cover many tens of thousands of square miles

— All critical national infrastructure relies on modern electronic devices to operate; most or all of the critical infrastructure in this affected area will cease to function, including ground, sea, rail, and air transportation systems, fuel and food distribution systems, water and sanitation systems, telecommunication systems, financial systems, and emergency services and governmental services

— E1 will also destroy tens of millions of insulators found on power distribution lines. The loss of a single insulator can stop power distribution

— The E3 component from a single HEMP will cover most of the continental US; it will damage or destroy most or all of the Large Power Transformers in the US national electric grid (which are required for the distribution of 60% to 70% of all electric power in the U.S.)

— Current lead times for Large Power Transformers are 18 to 24 months (overseas suppliers); Large Power Transformers require custom design, very specialized manufacture, they each weigh between 100 and 400 tons and are very difficult to ship, transport, and install. It would likely take more than a year to replace them; most of the US would be without electric power for a year or longer

— After the grid comes down, nuclear power plants will execute emergency shutdowns, but because the E1 component will disable their on-site power sources (Emergency Diesel Generators and Battery Banks), there will be no electric power available to run the active Emergency Core Cooling Systems (ECCS)

— Also, the active ECCS systems contain many motor-driven pumps, motor-operated valves, pressure and temperature sensors, and SCADA control units that will be disabled by E1, so even if power was available, they would not operate

— After emergency shutdown, the decay heat in the core of a nuclear reactor still creates 7% of the heat present when the nuclear reactor is operating at full power. In a large commercial nuclear reactor, hundreds of millions of megawatts of heat would still remain in the reactor core

— A failure of the active Emergency Core Cooling Systems to operate will cause the core to melt down in as little as 30 minutes

–Spent fuel pools, which are adjacent to each nuclear reactor, each contain at least 3 to 5 times more radiation than does the reactor core; without a cooling system that constantly cools the pools, the water in the pools will boil off and allow the spent fuel rods to release massive amounts of radioactive materials that can leave an area the size of an entire state uninhabitable for centuries.

— Dozens of nuclear US power plants could be within the area where E1 is greater than 12,500 volts/meter, and they will simultaneously melt down.

— As many as 50 nuclear power plants could melt down in France as a result of a single HEMP

— Shielding and technical fixes exist that can be used to protect the national electric grid and critical national infrastructure – including nuclear power plants – from HEMP/EMP  

— All efforts to mandate funding to protect the grid and critical infrastructure from HEMP/EMP have been blocked by electric and nuclear utilities