Local and state initiatives are gaining momentum and potentially can prompt needed solutions to counter the existential threats posed by an indefinite loss of the electric power grid — today an all too real possibility. These “bottoms-up” initiatives offer hope to all Americans in spite of the lethargy among the “powers that be” who are failing at their sworn duty. Will the solutions come in time?
This week’s message is dedicated to emphasizing a few lessons from my recent participation in a series of “Secure the Grid” conferences in Texas, Indiana, Louisiana and Alabama. In doing so, it summarizes my two most recent messages (posted and archived on our webpage www.highfrontier.org) as they relate to a loss of the electric power grid, especially due to either the manmade or natural electromagnetic pulse (EMP) threat:
- Our nuclear plants pose a potential hazard after an indefinite shutdown of the electric grid — a plausible possibility as discussed in Ted Koppel’s recent bestselling book, “Lights Out.” But if we take the right engineering countermeasures, the same nuclear power plants can be major recovery resources to help resurrect the grid across the nation following a major blackout. And we are making significant progress in establishing a relatively inexpensive, high priority program for the electric power companies to employ effective countermeasures, with support from local and state officials and an informed citizenry.
- A key threat to America is from nuclear armed ballistic missiles or satellites that approach the United States from our undefended South — e.g., from vessels in the Gulf of Mexico or satellites launched from North Korea or Iran. We have already developed, relatively inexpensive, effective ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems that could be quickly deployed to defend against this threat . . . if we have the will to do so.
To help explain the nuclear power plant issue, I emphasized the following figure, which shows a typical wind pattern that would carry any leaked radiation throughout the nation. The red dots on the map locate our nuclear power plants — over 95-percent are east of the Rockies. Note that whether a given state has lots of reactors or none, all Americans are threatened by the radiation hazard that is widely distributed by the winds. Of course the areas with the greatest density of reactors experience the greatest risk, especially in the near term.
As I emphasized in my earlier High Frontier messages, I am an advocate for nuclear power — but we need to: 1) Correct the vulnerabilities in our current power plant and interconnecting grid infrastructure and 2) Assure that new reactors are configured right when initially deployed in the context of a viable overall electric grid.
Otherwise, a protracted blackout that exhausts emergency generators and batteries for cooling the reactor core and fuel rods in cooling ponds can (as happened in Fukushima, Japan) result in radiation releases, steam explosions and fires that spread dangerous radioactivity over large areas. However, nuclear power reactors can be protected if sufficient energy from other survivable power sources can assure cooling water and other safety measure systems continue to function until sufficient external power can restore nuclear power operations to become an important source of electricity for recovering the national grid.
An entirely plausible strategy is to assure the viability of our hydroelectric and coal power plants—which are inherently more resilient than other power plants, like those powered by natural gas — and the transmission network that connects them to the nuclear power plants. I am pursuing this viable strategy with engineers at Duke Energy, the nation’s largest power company. We are planning a Lake Wylie pilot study on the Catawba River between South and North Carolina to demonstrate this strategy, employing Duke Energy’s nuclear, hydroelectric and coal power plants on Lake Wylie in concert with local (county level) support.
Please note: I take no money from Duke Energy to support my efforts — because I don’t want any perception of a conflict of interest in sharing our lessons learned to other power companies and citizens throughout the nation. And Duke Energy has agreed on our pilot study agenda and to share the results, without proprietary concerns. I’m very excited about the possibilities of this “Bottoms-up” initiative for leading to a much improved grid infrastructure in many states.
If you are so inclined, I would welcome your support to help High Frontier fully exploit this important initiative in South and North Carolina, and provide travel expenses to share the results to other states — including, in particular, to your state, particularly if you will work with us in assuring the viability of the grid where you live.
I got a very favorable response from folks I met on my recent trip — including Louisiana’s Governor and many members of its local and state domestic responder communities (from every Parish in Louisiana), which are taking important companion initiatives. I believe Louisiana authorities and citizens are well on their way to protecting themselves against a major loss of the electric grid — and others with whom we spoke, particularly in Texas, also are on their way, though they may face more resistance in their state legislature.
Re. Point 2: Perhaps the most important thing to observe about dealing urgently with the EMP threat delivered by a nuclear-armed ballistic missile, is that it will take time to protect the electric power grid—much more time than to deploy Aegis Ashore BMD systems on military bases around the Gulf of Mexico.
No development is required to make such a deployment. Just this past week, an Aegis Ashore BMD system was declared to be operational in Romania — with much NATO fanfare and loud objections from Russia. In 2018, our current plans are to have such a site operational in Poland — again with loud objections from Russia. Isn’t it just as important to protect Americans?
Making this point was easy with the local people who live around the Gulf of Mexico — and I am willing to spread that word around the nation because all Americans are vulnerable to this threat from the south. I have an invitation to discuss this important issue with the Army’s BMD office in Huntsville — and I’d like not only to do that, but also to meet with other key people in Alabama and in other states around the Gulf.
Dealing with these two issues (the “nuclear hazard” and the “threat from the south”) is our top priority mission, and we expect accelerating progress, with the increasing number of local and state authorities and the citizens they represent.
The prospects for success are very positive indeed. The only question is whether we can get the job done before events overtake us—and some manmade or natural event takes down the grid first.
Can you help our efforts?
I’d welcome any and all help in covering my travel expenses to discuss this important threat and how it can be countered with local citizens, getting them to understand the threat and the absurdity that they remain undefended. If they get that message, I believe they will demand action from their elected leaders who are ignoring this all too real threat.
Please understand that I carefully invest all contributions to High Frontier — and that, if successful, the outcome from the efforts discussed above will support our national survival — literally:
- If our efforts to end our vulnerability to threats from the south receive a positive response from the “powers that be,” the resulting defense obviously will benefit all Americans.
- Our Lake Wylie effort also should be an important pilot for any and all states, whether they have nuclear power sites or not. It will help define how all power plants can help in restoring the grid while assuring that the nation’s nuclear reactors present no radiation hazard.
Please understand that High Frontier takes no money from the government or from private industry — we treasure our independence which adds to our credibility when discussing such as the above matters. Our only dog in this hunt is the survival of all our citizens and all that we Americans hold dear. While I am content to work pro bono, we need additional resources to help get our message out and to help this old head with social media.
I hope you are sufficiently satisfied with our progress and if possible will support our efforts. Please click here to do so. Thank you for your kind consideration and support. And please keep us in your prayers, have a Happy Memorial Day and let Freedom Ring!
Near-Term High Frontier Plans.
We will continue to inform our readers of the looming threats we confront — and where appropriate urge them to engage in countering those threats. We will press for building the most cost-effective ballistic missile defenses possible and working with South Carolina folks to build a coalition to engage constructively with private citizens and their local and state representatives and other authorities to work with the SC National Guard in understanding and responding to the existential threats to the electric power grid.
We are especially focused on the nuclear power reactors that produce 60-percent of SC electricity—and more generally 20-percent of the nation’s electricity. If it can be assured that they “operate through” a major blackout of the electric power grid — and I believe it can, then these reactors can play a very important role for resurrecting the grid over an extended time and supporting the general public’s survival in the meantime.
See the new figure just added to the top of our webpage for an illustration of how wind patterns might carry far and wide any significant radiation from the nation’s reactors if we don’t get this right!
What can you do?
Join us in praying for our nation, and for a rebirth of the freedom sought, achieved and passed to us by those who came before us.
Help us to spread our message to the grass roots and to encourage all “powers that be” to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do.
Begin by passing this message to your friends and suggest they visit our webpage www.highfrontier.org, for more information. Also, please encourage your sphere of influence to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter.
Encourage them to review our past email messages, posted on www.highfrontier.org, to learn about many details related to the existential manmade and natural EMP threats and how we can protect America against them. I hope you will help us with our urgently needed efforts, which I will be discussing in future messages.
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