Full Title: Vulnerability of National Power Grids to Electromagnetic Threats: Domestic and International Perspectives
Author(s): Avi Schnurr
Publisher(s): Energy Law Journal
Publication Date: 1/2013
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Rapid evolution of the national power grid and the bulk power system in size, scope, technology, and structural complexity has been accompanied by a substantial increase in sensitivity to electromagnetic disturbances, both natural and malicious. This increasing sensitivity will be further exacerbated by extensive grid renovation in the next ten to twenty years. When combined with new evidence of infrequent but Severe Space Weather events and with rising concerns from international political instabilities and proliferation trends, this expanding sensitivity has introduced a new dimension of risk to power grid reliability and security. This article, following a technical and historical summary, reviews some of the fundamental electromagnetic threat (e-threat) issues and complexities being considered by policy makers and regulators, and summarizes grid hardening options. This article explores unique challenges associated with an issue which affects many government functions, highlighting perspectives expressed by different agencies in the United States and allied governments. The article concludes with a short menu of regulatory considerations and industry-initiative measures that could help address e-threat concerns.