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Thread: Terrorist Attack on Power Grid Could Cause Broad Hardship

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    Terrorist Attack on Power Grid Could Cause Broad Hardship

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/15/sc...t-attacks.html

    WASHINGTON Terrorists could black out large segments of the United States for weeks or months by attacking the power grid and damaging hard-to-replace components that are crucial to making it work, the National Academy of Sciences said in a report released Wednesday.

    By blowing up substations or transmission lines with explosives or by firing projectiles at them from a distance, the report said, terrorists could cause cascading failures and damage parts that would take months to repair or replace. In the meantime, it warned, people could die from the cold or the excessive heat, and the economy could suffer hundreds of billions of dollars in damage.
    Not a surprising realization, but the US is still very vulnerable in many areas, including this one.

    We have a generator, but it is not a long term solution.
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    Re: Terrorist Attack on Power Grid Could Cause Broad Hardship

    I am skeptical given the amount of damage that is done in hurricanes and icestorms that gets repaired. If they had that many people and explosives, they would probably go after people and high-profile targets IMHO.

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    Re: Terrorist Attack on Power Grid Could Cause Broad Hardship

    Quote Originally Posted by SMTA View Post
    Attack on Power Grid Could Cause Broad Hardship, Report Says - NYTimes.com



    Not a surprising realization, but the US is still very vulnerable in many areas, including this one.

    We have a generator, but it is not a long term solution.
    Perhaps the "Grid" is the problem. We need to de-centralize our Energy network, both to improve security and promote Alternative Energy use.

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    Re: Terrorist Attack on Power Grid Could Cause Broad Hardship

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveFagan View Post
    Perhaps the "Grid" is the problem. We need to de-centralize our Energy network, both to improve security and promote Alternative Energy use.
    Excellent observation!
    Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength - Henry Ward Beecher
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    Re: Terrorist Attack on Power Grid Could Cause Broad Hardship

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveFagan View Post
    Perhaps the "Grid" is the problem. We need to de-centralize our Energy network, both to improve security and promote Alternative Energy use.
    An absolutely horrible idea.

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    Re: Terrorist Attack on Power Grid Could Cause Broad Hardship

    In a few states solar companies offer power purchase agreements with a grid tied solar system. Sounds nice but the fact is most of the " buyers" wouldn't be able to get a thing from their solar system in a power outage. A few techno types might figure a bypass but doing so actually violates the agreement. Hence individual efforts of this nature are pretty worthless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    An absolutely horrible idea.

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    Re: Terrorist Attack on Power Grid Could Cause Broad Hardship

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    An absolutely horrible idea.
    Really, it's not a horrible idea, imo. Decentralizing would have much less mass effect than a hit on a huge network. Frankly, this is more the type of attack I would expect from folks like Anonymous or other punk computer hackers, than from what we consider terrorists.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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    Re: Terrorist Attack on Power Grid Could Cause Broad Hardship

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    Really, it's not a horrible idea, imo. Decentralizing would have much less mass effect than a hit on a huge network. Frankly, this is more the type of attack I would expect from folks like Anonymous or other punk computer hackers, than from what we consider terrorists.
    Breaking apart the grid would lead to more brownouts and blackouts than these hypothetical terrorist would ever cause. Power generators require maintenance and not everywhere in the US has the ability to pick up the slack their local power plant goes offline. Do you think that if a nuclear reactors scrams, magic gerbils on bicycles compensate? Other plants do it. A grid system further allows localities to buy their electric from anywhere in the country and get the stuff regardless of who creates it. Cities used to enter long term contracts with the cheapest supplier in the country and then be able to pass those savings on locally even if the credits were purchased from someone on the other side of the country. Having electricity cost 3 or 4 times as much in one area than others could have huge economic consequences.

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    Re: Terrorist Attack on Power Grid Could Cause Broad Hardship

    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher View Post
    Breaking apart the grid would lead to more brownouts and blackouts than these hypothetical terrorist would ever cause. Power generators require maintenance and not everywhere in the US has the ability to pick up the slack their local power plant goes offline. Do you think that if a nuclear reactors scrams, magic gerbils on bicycles compensate?
    Ummm, no. What a silly question.
    I realize that there are some negatives to decentralizing, but there is no need to go to an extreme in the other direction. Decentralizing doesn't mean there needs to be complete segregation. As for alternatives, I'm all for them, but am not ignorant of the fact that they won't be a major power source at any time in the near future.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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    Re: Terrorist Attack on Power Grid Could Cause Broad Hardship

    The problem with terrorists these days is they don't want to aim small. Do a drive-by of a substation, lop down power poles in rural areas, throw weighted wire coathangers over power lines in urban areas. You can **** with the power grid in dozens of ways, and if you could organise a terrorists cell of people who weren't grandiose ****bags, you could run a guerrilla like campaign all over the country. It doesn't have to be big, you just have to do it everywhere and often. Terrorists are unimaginative.
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