What An EMP Will Destroy

by Braxton Taylor

Electronics are vulnerable to an EMP. Modern microelectronics are especially vulnerable to EMP, an electromagnetic pulse. I’m talking about a weaponized EMP zapping the air with ~50,000 volts per meter during its ‘E1’ spike rising on the order of one nanosecond, reaching its peak in five nanoseconds, causing permanent electronics destruction faster than the blink of an eye.

(source image: Nuclear EMP Attack Scenarios by Dr. Peter Vincent Pry)

In extremely stark contrast, today’s electronics operate at low voltage levels upon very tiny architecture. Modern logic circuits have become incredibly small. As you go down in size/scale, the transistors get smaller, the currents get smaller, and the voltages decrease.

Mainstream chips in many of today’s laptops and phones (for example) are 7-nanometer technology. 5-nanometer chips have been used in devices such as recent cell phones (another example among many). 3-nanometer chips are now being used in the iPhone 15 Pro (A17 Pro chip). The latest technology has shrunk to an incredible 2 nm (or 20 angstroms) process, expected to be in future devices. To put this into some perspective, a strand of DNA is 2.5 nm in diameter!

The reason I point this out is because we’re looking at electronic circuits on the scale at which we measure atoms and the molecules they make. Once you realize how small this is, you might better understand the vulnerability of modern electronics to EMP.

The thing is, it’s not just modern electronics, it’s almost all electronics susceptible to damage or destruction caused by EMP.

While there are several caveats to the magnitude and extent of electronic destruction, those factors are beyond the scope of this post. Suffice it to say that a determined nuclear-capable adversary (of which there is apparently a non-insignificant number thereof) could utilize destructive EMP weaponry (such as a high altitude EMP-tuned nuclear detonation) to destroy electronics infrastructure below, without any kinetic damage on the ground.

The resulting societal breakdown in today’s modern world would ultimately result in unimaginable death and destruction. Horrifically, experts predict there would be an approximate 90% die-off within a year.

The Congressional EMP Commission estimates that an EMP attack causing a protracted
nationwide blackout lasting one year could kill up to 90 percent of the American people through starvation and societal collapse.

Staff Paper, Congressional EMP Commission Examples From Testimony And Reports That Fatalities Could Be
High Numbering Millions And 90 Percent Of Population, EMP Task Force On National And Homeland Security.
Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, “Foreign Views of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack” Testimony before the U.S. Senate
Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security, March 9, 2005.

Things That An EMP Could Destroy

In short, there’s a reason why so many people wouldn’t survive. Human dependence upon electronic systems. An EMP can damage or destroy the electronics underpinnings within a wide variety of devices and systems. The most critical of which is the power grid itself.

Banking & finance. Commerce. Communications. Transportation. Hospitals and medical. Public utilities. Just about everything relies not only on a functioning power grid but also all of those tiny electronic chips and circuits.

Electrical Power Grid

First and foremost, the electrical power grid. According to eia.gov, as of December 31, 2022, there were 25,378 electric generators at about 12,538 utility-scale electric power plants in the United States. Utility-scale power plants have a total nameplate electricity generation capacity of at least 1 megawatt (MW).

There are about 240,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines in the United States and millions of miles of distribution lines carrying electricity to our homes and businesses.

During the first nanoseconds of a sufficient EMP, tens of thousands of volts will nearly instantaneously travel through the transmission line infrastructure and expose connected electronic circuits to a potentially fatal blow. Anything plugged into the grid. Exposure.

But it doesn’t end there. Free-standing electronics may also be exposed to the extremely fast but powerful high-voltage surge throughout the atmosphere and air space within the effective range of the EMP. Modern semiconductors will be vulnerable.

A list of some things that might be damaged or destroyed if unprotected from EMP

  • Industrial controllers
  • Computers, Laptops, Monitors
  • Phones
  • Radios
  • TV’s and Media players
  • Network devices, switches, and terminals
  • Internet service providers infrastructure
  • Cellular network base stations
  • Telecommunications provider systems
  • Cable TV network nodes
  • Satellite systems up/downlink base stations
  • Data centers
  • Electronic office equipment
  • Vehicle electronics
  • Fuel filling stations (pump & payment electronics)
  • Medical devices and equipment
  • Electronic tools and test equipment
  • Solar power system inverters, chargers
  • Portable power systems with electronics
  • Batteries (with a BMS)
  • Appliances with electronics
  • Public water supply (after elevated or pressurized storage is exhausted)
  • Sewage collection and treatment systems

Our modern world and lifestyle are dependent upon the complex and interconnected systems of infrastructure. Most of our complicated infrastructure systems are operated using SCADA – a networked control system architecture of computers, sensors, data communications, and electronic devices for high-level communications of machines. EMP puts all this, and more, at risk.

Electricity is a necessity of modern life. Almost everything we depend on in our daily lives and the conduct of civil society is underpinned by a functioning electrical grid and systems thereof.

Unfortunately, EMP is not science fiction, but rather science fact. EMP is essentially an anti-technology weapon. EMP weapons do exist and are a genuine threat, especially in a world seemingly gone mad with a lust for War. Prepare accordingly.

Source: Nuclear EMP Attack Scenarios by Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, July 2017

(storefront on amzn)

Reading Material:

EMP Shield – Whole House Protection

Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse (Wikipedia)

Read the full article here

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