More protection needed to guard grid from electromagnetic storm threat

The United States isn’t as deeply unprepared for electromagnetic threats – either from space or man-made — as it was a few years ago but a lot of work remains and awareness of the danger needs to be amped-up if the country wants to truly protect the electric grid.

That was the general conclusion from a report by the watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office this that looked at federal efforts to address electromagnetic risks to the electric grid.

+More on Network World: Threat or menace?: Gaging electromagnetic risks to the electric grid+

“The threat posed by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) [from a nuclear device detonation] or solar weather burst of high-power electromagnetic radiation could have a debilitating impact on the nation’s critical electrical infrastructure, as well as other key assets that depend on electricity. These events could lead to power outages over broad geographic areas for extended durations,” the GAO stated.