“The NRC will not address threats to their (nuclear) power stations that they feel other agencies should take care,” said a task force member of the Electromagnetic Defense Task Force.
The EDTF recently released version 2.0. It’s a new 2019 report to highlight the EMP threat to U.S. infrastructure and military installations. The report admits that the (nuclear) electric generating plants are not prepared for an (EMP) attack.
What’s worse, the NRC apparently won’t protect the energy plants, referred to in the report as the nation’s “crown jewels,” from an attack. The reason: That’s the Pentagon’s job.
There are growing concerns about an EMP attack from Iran, China, Russia, or North Korea. Or a natural one created by the sun (coronal mass ejection, or CME).
The NRC said that plants are not required to protect against an EMP. “The NRC will not address threats to their power stations that they feel other agencies should take care,”
The regulatory commission also said Nuclear power plants in the US are extremely robust structures de-signed with safety margins, as well as defense-in-depth safety capabilities. The facilities are capable of withstanding a broad range of beyond-design-basis events.
While there’s no doubt that this is true, today’s modern day threat of EMP and the ongoing possibility of catastrophic CME (e.g. 1859 Carrington Event), should be great cause for concern.
In March of 2019 the president for the first time ever, signed an executive order (EO 13865) addressing the threat of EMP. That’s a good thing. Although I wouldn’t hold my breath for any near term protective results in that regard.
The good is that this threat is becoming increasingly visible and is being treated in a more serious fashion. The bad is knowing that it will take a long time (if ever) to mitigate the threat.
In the context of preparedness, the EMP event (or major CME) is a worst case scenario. Though the NRC has stated “NRC does not anticipate significant penetration of EMP fields into a nuclear power station due to design of the structures,” I personally wouldn’t count on it.
“If all engineered and proceduralized mitigation measures failed and a meltdown were to occur, there is a very large uncertainty in off-site consequences,” said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Not to mention the probability of grid-down at that point…
I posted this article today because on the one hand it reveals that there are increasing concerns about the issue of EMP (in this case – the repercussions with nuclear power plants). On the other hand it (not surprisingly) indicates the resistance to take real protective actions on this issue. Logically, no one wants to pay for it… “It’s not my job”.
About the Electromagnetic Defense Task Force (EDTF) : It was evidently put together in 2018 and is run from Maxwell Air Force Base, located in Montgomery, Alabama, under the Air Education and Training Command. It was created to “develop holistic, credible defensive and offensive electromagnetic strategies for the United States.”
Continue reading: After the EMP comes Nuclear Meltdown