How to protect Canada from a crippling attack

While both Canada and the United States are currently vulnerable to an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack that has the potential to destabilize our power grid, water systems, food supply chain and more, the solution is relatively simple. But first the issue needs to become a priority for Canadian politicians.

Part one of this two-part feature explained former CIA analyst Dr. Peter Pry’s attempts to educate policy-makers and the military on the need to protect our electrical grid. If an enemy detonated a nuclear missile above the skies of North America, it could take out our grid for months. Countries like North Korea and various terrorist groups have already shown they can successfully launch EMP missiles.

  • When SUN News still existed, a fellow was talking about possible attacks, EMP or otherwise. It stunned me how easy it was to attack power plants and how easy it was to protect them.

    God help us all.

    • Exile1981

      A few years ago there was a report in an industry magazine that for 50 million or so the country could stock pile a spare of all the major tranformers in the country.That way an EMP would shut us down for a week not months to years.

      • And would they do so?

        • Exile1981

          Never did. All the big transformers are owned by energy trusts who don’t even want to do maintenance.

          They wete trying to get the gov’t to pay for them. Lead time on a main line is 2 or more years. So if an EMP hit you’d have to find a way to get the power to the factories that make the transformers. Last I heard the vast majority of them are made outside the US and Canada. So think on that for a minute.

          • Oh, son-of-a….!

          • Exile1981

            The power plant I worked in was natural gas powered. It had power feed lines to bring in power for all the control systems. Without that outside power the plant will not operate. I asked the lead engineer why they didn’t have the ability to supply there own power if the grid went down, he said if the grid went down that completely we were all screwed and no one could justify the cost.

            They had a back up generator to run the control systems for a day or so but unless the lines feeding the plant where bringing in power there was no way to take a portion of the outgoing power from the plant to run those systems…. and without them the plant doesn’t run.

            Our infrastructure is more intertwined and less robust than people realize.

            Everyone assumes that when the power goes out the reason your furnace stops working is the electrical portions are out of power… which is true. If you had a generator you could continue to run your furnace but if you had unlimited fuel you’d still be SOL. The gas lines feeding our homes come from a low pressure feeder system. There are systems in place to make sure the lines are shut down if the regulator feeding the low pressure lines fails, As a safety feature the emergency valves fail closed and depending on the system it’s very likely those valves use electricity to stay open. So no electricity and the valve closes. Meaning your feeder system is isolated and what ever gas is in the lines is all there is until the power is restored. Now eventually depending on the size of the feeder system and how many people are drawing gas from it could be days or weeks before the gas pressure dropped to the point your furnace went out. That is why I laugh at the people who put the natural gas whole home generators in. Unless you have a tank buried in your yard that generator does not have the unlimited fuel that you think it does,

          • People go nuts if their Internet service is lost temporarily.

            Perhaps they should imagine if ALL of their power sources go kaput.

          • Exile1981

            I have a friend in a rural area of a US state who tells me that the internet in their area is gone. The company that runs it pulled the equipment out of his area as the customer density wasn’t high enough to justify the upkeep. Of course they also used the parts they pulled to repair the system in an urban area, so take it with a grain of salt that it was lack of customers that was the reason and not the need for the parts that caused that decision.

            It’s happening much more often that systems are being cannibalized to keep others running.

            Eight years ago a gas company I was contracted too replaced the old compressors at a site with new ones. Mostly because the old ones parts had become impossible to find. There used to be 10 old ones but they had already cannibalized 2 for parts to keep the other 8 running. The new ones where larger and digital and it only required 2 of them to push more gas than the old 10 could.
            The down side is the old ones burned natural gas to compress the rest of the gas and all the controls ran on pressurized air (pneumatics) which meant those old ones needed no outside systems to run. If you started one up you could run the starter by running a cable to your truck battery and jumping it like a car. Once it started you could divert compressed gas to each other one to spin them up and start them. Really simple system. Also since the units made their own compressed air as well once one was started the control system would run as well.

            The new ones need much higher voltage (ie line voltage ) to start and they will not run unless the controls are also running and since they use line power; an electrical outage takes them down.

            The plus to the newer systems are they easier to run so you need less staff on; they went from someone on sight 24/7 365 days a year to mon-fri supervision only with the system calling the operator on his cell if it goes down other times. The new system also uses less of the gas as fuel and the amount they made selling the old compressors to another company that wanted them for parts made up a significant portion of the cost of the new ones.

            The point being that the new systems are grid dependent and an EMP would fry those compressors (and shut down the gas lines) but the old pneumatic units where immune to EMP.

          • But the older ones are more prone to breakdowns and are probably a union boss’ dream of milking a particular system.

          • Exile1981

            non-union job.

            Actually the old ones are good in places where the gas flow is so low you just need a little tiny unit and have no access to electricity.

          • Non-union, eh?

  • Petrilia

    Keep a landline. Have cash. Be prepared.

    • Clausewitz

      Landlines are useless if the switching equipment is fried by an emp pulse.

  • Gary

    That series of movies reminds me of iran with their version of the Ape-God that wants to purify the planet and make a an ape-only paradise.
    In the second movie the apes launch a nuclear bomb , in real life it will be iran where the apes walk more erect but launch their nuclear bombs.

    islam is the problem and with over 1 billion followers of the death-cult they are waiting until they have the numbers to wage jihad and slaughter the 6 billion non-muslims for allah’s peace .
    It’s nice that the CBC can find a Muslim that doesn’t want to kill me , but they too will be killed among the 6 billion as martyr’s because islam give they life after they die and earth is just a hell-hole to murder infidels for allah as a test .

  • canminuteman

    I think reelecting liberal governments is a bigger threat to our future.