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Government Agency Warns If 9 Substations Are Destroyed, The Power Grid Could Be Down For 18 Months

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

What would you do if the Internet or the power grid went down for over a year?  Our key infrastructure, including the Internet and the power grid, is far more vulnerable than most people would dare to imagine.  These days, most people simply take for granted that the lights will always be on and that the Internet will always function properly.  But what if all that changed someday in the blink of an eye?  According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's latest report, all it would take to plunge the entire nation into darkness for more than a year would be to knock out a transformer manufacturer and just 9 of our 55,000 electrical substations on a really hot summer day.  The reality of the matter is that our power grid is in desperate need of updating, and there is very little or no physical security at most of these substations. 


If terrorists, or saboteurs, or special operations forces wanted to take down our power grid, it would not be very difficult.  And as you will read about later in this article, the Internet is extremely vulnerable as well.

When I read the following statement from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's latest report, I was absolutely floored...

"Destroy nine interconnection substations and a transformer manufacturer and the entire United States grid would be down for at least 18 months, probably longer."


What would you do without power for 18 months?

FERC studied what it would take to collapse the entire electrical grid from coast to coast.  What they found was quite unsettling...

In its modeling, FERC studied what would happen if various combinations of substations were crippled in the three electrical systems that serve the contiguous U.S. The agency concluded the systems could go dark if as few as nine locations were knocked out: four in the East, three in the West and two in Texas, people with knowledge of the analysis said.


The actual number of locations that would have to be knocked out to spawn a massive blackout would vary depending on available generation resources, energy demand, which is highest on hot days, and other factors, experts said. Because it is difficult to build new transmission routes, existing big substations are becoming more crucial to handling electricity.

So what would life look like without any power for a long period of time?  The following list comes from one of my previous articles...

-There would be no heat for your home.

-Water would no longer be pumped into most homes.

-Your computer would not work.

-There would be no Internet.

-Your phones would not work.

-There would be no television.

-There would be no radio.

-ATM machines would be shut down.

-There would be no banking.

-Your debit cards and credit cards would not work.

-Without electricity, gas stations would not be functioning.

-Most people would be unable to do their jobs without electricity and employment would collapse.

-Commerce would be brought to a standstill.

-Hospitals would not be able to function.

-You would quickly start running out of medicine.

-All refrigeration would shut down and frozen foods in our homes and supermarkets would start to go bad.

If you want to get an idea of how quickly society would descend into chaos, just watch the documentary "American Blackout" some time.  It will chill you to your bones.

The truth is that we live in an unprecedented time.  We have become extremely dependent on technology, and that technology could be stripped away from us in an instant.

Right now, our power grid is exceedingly vulnerable, and all the experts know this, but very little is being done to actually protect it...

"The power grid, built over many decades in a benign environment, now faces a range of threats it was never designed to survive," said Paul Stockton, a former assistant secretary of defense and president of risk-assessment firm Cloud Peak Analytics. "That's got to be the focus going forward."

If a group of agents working for a foreign government or a terrorist organization wanted to bring us to our knees, they could do it.

In fact, there have actually been recent attacks on some of our power stations.  Here is just one example

The Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Smith reports that a former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman is acknowledging for the first time that a group of snipers shot up a Silicon Valley substation for 19 minutes last year, knocking out 17 transformers before slipping away into the night.


The attack was “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred” in the U.S., Jon Wellinghoff, who was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time, told Smith.

Have you heard about that attack before now?

Most Americans have not.

But it should have been big news.

At the scene, authorities found "more than 100 fingerprint-free shell casings", and little piles of rocks "that appeared to have been left by an advance scout to tell the attackers where to get the best shots."

So what happens someday when the bad guys decide to conduct a coordinated attack against our power grid with heavy weapons?

It could happen.

In addition, as I mentioned at the top of this article, the Internet is extremely vulnerable as well.

For example, did you know that authorities are so freaked out about the security of the Internet that they have given "the keys to the Internet" to a very small group of individuals that meet four times per year?

It's true.  The following is from a recent story posted by the Guardian...

The keyholders have been meeting four times a year, twice on the east coast of the US and twice here on the west, since 2010. Gaining access to their inner sanctum isn't easy, but last month I was invited along to watch the ceremony and meet some of the keyholders – a select group of security experts from around the world. All have long backgrounds in internet security and work for various international institutions. They were chosen for their geographical spread as well as their experience – no one country is allowed to have too many keyholders. They travel to the ceremony at their own, or their employer's, expense.


What these men and women control is the system at the heart of the web: the domain name system, or DNS. This is the internet's version of a telephone directory – a series of registers linking web addresses to a series of numbers, called IP addresses. Without these addresses, you would need to know a long sequence of numbers for every site you wanted to visit. To get to the Guardian, for instance, you'd have to enter "" instead of

If the system that controls those IP addresses gets hijacked or damaged, we would definitely need someone to press the "reset button" on the Internet.

Sadly, the hackers always seem to be several steps ahead of the authorities.  In fact, according to one recent report, breaches of U.S. government computer networks go undetected 40 percent of the time

A new report by Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) details widespread cybersecurity breaches in the federal government, despite billions in spending to secure the nation’s most sensitive information.


The report, released on Tuesday, found that approximately 40 percent of breaches go undetected, and highlighted “serious vulnerabilities in the government’s efforts to protect its own civilian computers and networks.”


“In the past few years, we have seen significant breaches in cybersecurity which could affect critical U.S. infrastructure,” the report said. “Data on the nation’s weakest dams, including those which could kill Americans if they failed, were stolen by a malicious intruder. Nuclear plants’ confidential cybersecurity plans have been left unprotected. Blueprints for the technology undergirding the New York Stock Exchange were exposed to hackers.”


And things are not much better when it comes to cybersecurity in the private sector either.  According to Symantec, there was a 42 percent increase in cyberattacks against businesses in the United States last year.  And according to a recent report in the Telegraph, our major banks are being hit with cyberattacks "every minute of every day"...

Every minute, of every hour, of every day, a major financial institution is under attack.


Threats range from teenagers in their bedrooms engaging in adolescent “hacktivism”, to sophisticated criminal gangs and state-sponsored terrorists attempting everything from extortion to industrial espionage. Though the details of these crimes remain scant, cyber security experts are clear that behind-the-scenes online attacks have already had far reaching consequences for banks and the financial markets.

For much more on all of this, please see my previous article entitled "Big Banks Are Being Hit With Cyberattacks 'Every Minute Of Every Day'".

Up until now, attacks on our infrastructure have not caused any significant interruptions in our lifestyles.

But at some point that will change.

Are you prepared for that to happen?

We live at a time when our world is becoming increasingly unstable.  In the years ahead it is quite likely that we will see massive economic problems, major natural disasters, serious terror attacks and war.  Any one of those could cause substantial disruptions in the way that we live.

At this point, even NASA is warning that "civilization could collapse"...

A new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.


Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."

So let us hope for the best.

But let us also prepare for the worst.


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Wed, 03/19/2014 - 20:51 | 4570209 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Good thing they announced that to the public. Now they just need to get to work curtailing more of our freedoms.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 20:54 | 4570228 NemoDeNovo
NemoDeNovo's picture

It would be a LOT longer then 18 months, that is wishful thinking right there I'm afraid.


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 20:57 | 4570236 Payne
Payne's picture

bunch of alarmist lies to get us to trust the government to save us from ourselves.  The grid may not function the way it does now and you might have blackouts at times.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:02 | 4570261 ss123
ss123's picture

I would just sit around and drink Coors all day.
Actually might be a good thing if people couldn't get on 'The Grid' for a year or two.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:07 | 4570275 Surly Bear
Surly Bear's picture

Fuck. Well, that is what I would do.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:47 | 4570463 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

if the grid goes down , so does every single nuclear plant

and that folks, is game over for the planet

imagine 50 fukushimas

extinction level event

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:54 | 4570489 SnobGobbler
SnobGobbler's picture

more like 108 fukushimas (23 exact same model too!) or so here, 420+ worldwide

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:12 | 4570566 whotookmyalias
whotookmyalias's picture

Living in San Diego when the power went out a few years ago is what got me started on prepping, arming, and stacking.  That was for less than 24 hours.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:29 | 4570648 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Thursday, September 6, 2011 at roughly 3:30 PM. I remember it well.


Even the man up the road with the huge assed Solar Array, obviously without Battery Backup, was DARK.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:19 | 4570712 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

We were down for 3 weeks after the Cedar Fire. We fortunately had a generator and had access to gas. When we found out Solar is designed to go down for the power line repair crews safety we designed ours with that in mind. Three weeks without power can truly change your prospective. Fortunately we had a 10k gallon cistern or we would have been out of water too. Sometimes disasters can turn into blessings.


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:33 | 4570923 Unpopular Truth
Unpopular Truth's picture

Good thing I also hold physical gold coins, because my bitcoins would be no good!

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:31 | 4571246 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

It irks me to no end that gas furnaces are designed to require electricity to control them. You'd think some smart ass would have built a simple but ubiquitous component to generate enough electricity from the gas itself to run the electric parts of the furnace so you aren't simultaneously dependent on 2 grids.

It boggles the mind.

Soon as I can manage I want a bloombox. Even if the gas grid itself is cut off so long as one can provide methane to it, and methane isn't exactly rare, you can get electric power out of it.

I have no idea if it's gone commercial yet. All I know is test units were running on server-farms for Google and reportedly cut their power bill in half on the test site, no problems reported.

I hope they don't buy the guy outright and keep it all to themselves. Google is big enough now to afford it.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 05:11 | 4571487 Wile-E-Coyote
Wile-E-Coyote's picture

There are hot water boilers designed to work without mains electricity. Two methods one using a thermopile, a bunch of thermocouples to power the gas valve or a bimetallic controlled gas valve which opens and closes depending on the set water temperature.

But the thing to remember if the grid goes down the gas supply might go as well; gas pressure is normally boosted by gas turbines.

Get a good wood burner.



Thu, 03/20/2014 - 05:37 | 4571508 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

There are some real fucking idiots here! 

!)  GET A GOOD INVERTER GENERATOR like  Honda or my preference, a Yamahahaha..


3) L EARN HOW TO GET GAS OUT OF YOUR CAR'S TANK .. Guess what?  You can't siphon like the good old days cause of the anti-roll-over check valve








Thu, 03/20/2014 - 07:24 | 4571611 Evil Peanut
Evil Peanut's picture

Nice of them to let us know its only 9.

are they begging for something to happen?


Have at it boys

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 08:54 | 4571787 exi1ed0ne
exi1ed0ne's picture

Wood burners need juice too for the circulation pump and fans for outside units.  The only solution is to get enough local generation to meet minimal needs (fridge/freezer/heat/well pump).

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:46 | 4570721 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

$400 of parts plus a backup battery (that can be taken from your car) will give you a functional off the grid system. Solar City will install a system for free although you'd need to bootleg the off-grid capability. Wrap the inverter control system in metal in case of an EMP. Your tin foil hat can do double duty for that purpose. Sadly I had to check out a Solar City web site for the particulars some time back so guess whose ad is looking at me as I type. You'll lose $400 worth of food when your freezer goes out for a couple days, much longer than that and you'll be glad you have those rechargable zombie-weedwhackers.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:02 | 4570780 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

In Jamul the power was only out for six hours. But I think that Miffed is correct.


A Faraday Cage is definitely something to think about for shieding from an EMP. It can be a metal mesh.


But it was not my system. I survived on batteries and had a Transistor Radio to get information. But even the News Crews were on the air and were openly begging for fuel as they did not have Backup Storage.


It was pretty trippy.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:26 | 4570880 weburke
weburke's picture

too many elites live in that eastern canada/new england grid for it to go down. 

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 00:15 | 4571072 prains
prains's picture

their Hello Kitty Vibrators wouldn't work, it would be total anarchy

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:37 | 4571261 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture


More ID 10T-ism on display.


How many here REALLY know what a Farady Cage REALLY represents?


Anyone ... show hands?


The Dunning Kruger effect on this board is ASTOUNDING sometimes ...


Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:55 | 4571289 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

It's a conductor in the form of a "cage" around whatever you want to protect that shields the inside from electromagnetic radiation.


I'll also say that EMP is one of the most misunderstood topics out there.  During the cold war, we knew what the effects were, and the Soviets didn't.  So, we started spinning up all sorts of EMP research programs to get them to do the same, because we knew that we could afford it at the time and we didn't think they could.  Think about how much misinformation that leads to. 

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 05:17 | 4571492 Wile-E-Coyote
Wile-E-Coyote's picture

Faradays cage has been known about for some time, who is putting out misinformation here?

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 09:05 | 4571784 Element
Element's picture



During the cold war, we knew what the effects were, and the Soviets didn't.

The Soviets were acutely aware of EMP effects by mid-1962 (they were planning to use it against the US from Cuba in November of the same year).

Remember that defecting Foxbat with the vacuum tube electronics in the mid 1970s? They were far more resistant than ICs to ampere surge. What did the US do? Well, the very opposite, it made itself far more and more susceptible to EMP, via lower and lower voltage tolerance and denser and denser ICs, with finer and finer tolerances, and filled all of industry and military systems with the RS232 interface.

So please don't tell me how the US spent up big to protect itself when it permitted the exact opposite to occur. You can believe all you want, but just have a look at the back of your PC, or Mac, or any industrial controller, and most military computers, and grid-control systems. The US has never been more vulnerable to EMP, or the sun chucking an E3 wobbly, than right now.

And they'll make, nationally, millions of urban and suburban fires in less time than it takes to read this last word.

Quick, call the  ... oh ... never mind.

i.e. you'll get fire storms.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 09:50 | 4571994 msmith9962
msmith9962's picture

So you're saying the power will go out and all our shit will catch fire?

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 10:43 | 4572164 Element
Element's picture

In high-yield high altitude EMP? Yes. Resistance heating of such ampere/voltage will cause conductors to glow incandescent and many to explode and shower molten metal around the place. Some you can't even see, such as wiring in walls and ceilings. If you aren't at home to put them out, or you can't see or reach them, or there are too many fires ... well that will be everywhere in your street in a real EMP strike, and these will burn whole cities to the ground, without even a single airburst or ground burst over a city.

And the moment that happens the ABM missile-shield is also compromised and degraded if not rendered completely stuffed. What is for sure if more missiles come they will get through. Escalation between nuclear powers is too dangerous.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 11:41 | 4572584 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

LOL dude, I have realatives who worked for the MIC during the cold war.  I've been to some of the EMP test sites that we had. 

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 15:08 | 4573794 Element
Element's picture

Look up the vulnerability of RS232 to E1 and E2 EMP effects. (see report linked below)

Now look up where RS232 ports have been implemented in the US.

It isn't about relatives or trips to facilities, it's about what happens when a HEMP explodes above you and if your electronics can take it or not. The overwhelming view in technical reports is that at least 50% of US is totally screwed in the event of the use of even a single fission A-bomb type yield in a HEMP device over the central united states.


Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack - April 2008


After actually reading that report I bet you don't feel anywhere near so confident.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 09:01 | 4571818 Element
Element's picture

Faraday cages work when not connected to an antenna, power lead, or copper wire data interfaces.

Remove those and the result is the same as not turning it on, it doesn't work.

I can not believe that you don't know that, so you must know it, and simply deny it.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:34 | 4570929 laboratorymike
laboratorymike's picture

A panel for the freezer is a great idea. I've been told boat batteries are the best for solar systems, as they are designed to sit in a garage without use for months at a time.

If you stick with any liquid fuel, a multifuel stove that takes gas or diesel is also a good bet. During good times you can buy gas ahead, and during hard times the stove and an inverted flower pot gives off a lot of radiant heat, I was able to keep my apartment reasonable for ~6 hours on one test when it was 0 F out, with no carbon monoxide issue as measured by the detector I kept next to it (Always have one if you burn anything in your house!).

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 10:12 | 4572087 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

For SHTF storage - I think diesel is a must.  The gas now sucks balls when it comes to storage, even with a stabilizer.  We have one commuter car that runs on gas for a bit of diversity - but everything else we have is diesel.  A home heating tank will hold 250+ gallons of heating oil (which is basically diesel without the road taxes and a dye added) for a cheap, low profile method of storage.  Propane is pretty good as an additional line of backup for heating and cooking.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 09:27 | 4571905 exi1ed0ne
exi1ed0ne's picture

You would need to wrap your house in a faraday cage otherwise the wires in your house will still feed damaging voltage into your inverter.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:51 | 4570742 ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

Boy, sure is a good thing they don't know about THIS book:

"This is a legendary work by the famed Swiss expert on guerrilla warfare, Major H. von Dach. Well-written and illustrated with easy-to-understand drawings, Total Resistance analyzes and overviews the techniques needed to overcome an invading force, formation of guerrilla units, weapons, food and medical considerations, ambushes, sabotage and much more."

You can find it on Scribd for free if you're more interested in buying the barbarous relic than books...

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:13 | 4570791 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Thanks. I have not read that one yet. But I will.


Scribd charges money but here is a link that will get it for free.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:54 | 4571287 ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

It's worth the time to read it.

As to Scribd, if you upload a file or two, you get to download files for free. No need to pay...just upload something that you think others might want to read.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:40 | 4570703 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

I remember the event well. All the neighbors came out and started talking.  It was the friendliest I had ever seen the area. 


If someone could just knock out all the televisions I'd tickled pink.


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:22 | 4570857 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

I wonder just how many San Diegans are on ZH. Maybe we all need to meet sometime and see the members of the San Diego Chapter of Project Mayhem.


On second thought I am sure that we would be infiltrated with Agent Provocateurs. So perhaps it is best that we do not.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 00:16 | 4571076 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Bumped into quite a few over the years. Probably more likely to find ZHers from SD than San Fran ( who probably only lurk or troll). Problem is meeting up w/o the obvious high value target droning. You don't have homing pigeons by any chance?


Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:16 | 4571222 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

LOL. No. No homing pigeons.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:02 | 4570515 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Ummm...don't know where your info comes from, but the plant would have power.  Its everything else that wouldn't. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:51 | 4570740 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

They have a THREE DAY supply of Diesel to run the Emergency Generators.


I got my information off of the Discovery Channel Documentary


AFTERMATH Population Zero.


Later in the Documentary it tells you that they start Melt Down at the 72 Hour mark when the Diesel Generators run out of Fuel. You ought to watch it. Because the first minutes of the Film tell you what happens without power.


Refrigerated Gases blow up. It will be a Toxic Nightmare. Although they believe that life will continue that is debatable. It will be the end of the World as YOU know it. Life as you know it will become EXTINCT.


Normal will vanish. The article states that NASA even sees the potential for the collapse of civilization. Now you can IGNORANTLY BE IN DENIAL.


So LEARN ABOUT IT and WAKE UP. Or go back to the comfort of your Main Stream Media INDUCED DELUSION. It is much more comfortable there....FOR NOW. You can be a GOOD LITTLE SOCIALIST and cheer on your Red Team or Blue Team as you put your faith in Mommy Government to take care of the evil pwoblems.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:59 | 4570769 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

But don't nuke plants make electric?  It would seem to work itself out.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:32 | 4570918 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

The problem with that is that Nuclear Plants make too much Energy when you have an Electrical Grid Failure. Since they cannot transmit the excess energy to the grid so either they must shut down or they will Meltdown.


Nuclear Plants are not like a simple rheostat or a water faucet. You just cannot turn down the volume to a trickle. They will produce a Minimum Amount of Energy and unless Shut Down the Energy stored will increase. (The Core Temperature rises.)


(The lack of Water is another problem with an Energy Grid failure as pumps become inoperable. Ultimately that will kill many of us.)


You are in denial.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:26 | 4571240 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Solid fuel reactors, yes, and electric pumps yes, but let's remember a whole era of pumping existed with no electricity and let's also remember thorium reactors don't use solid fuel rods.

Obviously the problem is: we currently have no plans on any books to use purely pressure-hydraulic pumps bleeding off the heat like a sensible engineer would use who was told "you have no electricity to control this. Now make it work". Engineering existed before electricity, this isn't an impossible task. It is, however, in a political & economic environment that is blind to the obvious truth.

Anyhow why worry about grid failures? We can buy our way out with bitcoins!! SATOSHI POWER!

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 10:19 | 4572126 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

If there were a regional or total grid failure - one would hope the military/nat guard would make maintaining the cooling systems on every affected reactor priority 1.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 00:11 | 4588864 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

And yet a liquid thorium reactor has no such melt-down catastrophe. Melt-down is its normal cooling & shut-down mode. Melt the cooled salt plug, down the pipe it goes & cools until pumped back into the reactor to do its work.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 00:05 | 4588848 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

You're absolutely right and it takes a very dishonest person and/or very stupid not to see it.
You simply extract the needed amount of heat for the electrical generation, so you don't have electrical generation overload, and produce electricity from that needed amount of heat.
You can bleed the excess heat anywhere you want to avoid explosion/danger, or to minimize it, in this process, since as the other arguing asshole will tell you, there's an excess of heat.
That excess means you can always bleed off the amount you need & channel the rest elsewhere.
We learned how to do that in the steam age before electricity even was used by us mere mortal humans.
From there once you have the electrical power and restore the electric transmission to the pumps you're good to go.
Since we can use wireless power transmission using induction coils there's no need for a grid at all,
not a grid to move electricity within the plant, and not to transmit it.
The big lie is that we need a grid when in fact we can use induction coils.
We've known that since Tesla's era and that was over 100 years ago.

The current problem is not an engineering problem since we've had the solution more than 100 years. Tje current problem is a political problem as bad designs are deliberately used with deliberate intentful harm with no question as to how bad the outcome will be and lots of lying to cover up the re-balancing of benefit from "producer" to "consumer" of power.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:19 | 4570844 Spanky
Spanky's picture



I got my information off of the Discovery Channel Documentary -- Tall Tom

Well, there's your problem right there...

Just because the transmission and distribution grid goes down does not mean that the power plants are inoperable. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:42 | 4570967 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Yes they are inoperable. There is no way of transmitting the energy. The grid is down. So where does the heat go? (Energy and heat are synonomous)


I have been studying Energy for most of my life. That is what Physicists do. While I am not a Nuclear Physicist I do have a very good understand about how those plants work.


I guess that I will need to give you something else since you do not believe the Documentary Film which I referenced. (The Discovery Channel is not too political.)


Of course you may want to actually watch the film...

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:27 | 4571242 Rakshas
Rakshas's picture


Before we run off like chiken little ya might want to do a little reading - bottom line these things are not simple bouncing betty's just one tap and boom,  and the event that gave us the nightmare at FUCK-US-SHEEMA was pretty drastic to say the least.  Don't get me wrong I am in no way a fan of Nukes at all on any level ever but I know these things go down on a regular basis in ways that would be experienced should some dumbfuck ..... well how would I do it.... drive my car into the substation fence and .....

But anyway how about an examination of the historical events

From 2003 Northeast Blackout; Nine nuclear power reactors – six in New York and one each in New Jersey, Ohio and Michigan – were shut down because of the loss of offsite power, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Bethesda, Md."


Me I'll take my little junkyard wars wind turbines and my solar array - it ain't pretty but it keeps the kids off my back when the grid goes down......FYI used forklift batteries are better than marine type LA Cells

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 03:37 | 4571417 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Actually I am a fan of Nuclear Energy. As an undergrad Physics syudent at Northern AZ University in 1979, right after the TMI accident, there was a little protest scheduled by the anti Nuke Environmentalists.


They were protesting a shipment of Heavy Water from Tucson into Flagstaff.


Now I had some Pitchblende Ore. I had planned to toss that rocjk up and down during that protest and announce that I had just exposed them to more Radiation than they would have received from the Heavy Water in over 100 Years. They were crazy.


The Physics Department Head took away my Pitchblende and told me in no uncertain terms that I was not going to be doing that, or attending the protest, because they did not want to have to bail me out of Jail. (They'd have kicked me out of school had I persisted.) 


I asked, "Really? Now why would you have to bail me out of Jail?" I was then informed that they were somehow "responsible for me."


Now to demonstrate how benign that damned rock was I carried it in my to my Family Jewels.


Perceived Risk compared to real risk are, at times, so divergent.


I am not anti Nuclear Power. (Thorium Reactors would actually be the best.) I am ANTI COVER UP. I believe that Reactors can be built that can be operated safely.


But I look at the reaction on this comment site and see that the industry has its shills and supporters and they are too intent on promoting an image without any substance. They are the very reason why I post what I post.


Look at the criticisms of the my comments following. They attack my MAIN STREAM MEDIA SOURCE. It has nothing to do with any "Conspiracy Theory". The Discovery Channel is as Main Stream as it gets.


They believe me to be anti Nuke. It is actually laughable. They have no clue about my history.




As long as the industry pays people to promote dishonesty I cannot support them nor can I believe that they are operating the Reactors safely or responsibly. That is the major problem.


By attempting to spin a message they demonstrate that they are unqualified to handle the industry. And that is what needs to be considered.


Seriously. Take a look at the comments.


Thanks for your suggestion about the Batteries.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 05:48 | 4571520 JoBob
JoBob's picture

Way too many capatilized words, Tom. How is Energy different from normal energy?

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 00:01 | 4588840 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

REALLY? So heavy water spills into my drinking water, so it's irradiating me from the inside out throughout all my cells, and you claim a rock 'near' me is going to irradiate me more?
I think you're lying. A real nuclear physics student would immediately understand that radiation inside the body, trapped there, inside the cell membranes will do much more harm than the same-strength & size radiation source some distance from the skin.
Certainly the dynamics change for alpha & beta emitters vs gamma but the bottom line is once that irradiated water is ingested it's stuck there and I'll get the full dose.
I'm not about to eat that rock of yours, now am I?

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:36 | 4571259 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

With current designs & preps that is the outcome. It's a political problem, not an engineering problem. Bleeding heat from all its sources, converting to electricity at small & large scales & transmitting wirelessly can be done. It isn't. That's not an engineering problem. For more than 100 years we've known very well how to do this.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 03:48 | 4571430 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

It is all about Energy. Where there is a Temperature Differential Energy can be extracted.. But how much and at what cost?


So I disagree that it is Political. It is a matter of ECONOMY.


If it costs more than it is worth, if there is no profit, if there is no gain, then there is no incentive.


You get an Up Arrow because technically you are correct. But in all practicality it is a Pipe Dream.

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 23:58 | 4588835 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

The energy savings would be massive. 95% of the energy from a nuclear plant is disposed of, unused.

The profit is not in the use of the energy but the making of nuclear weapons and keeping contractors hired for repairs.

There's a lot less work for them with a simpler machine. Poverty for us, payment for them, that's the plan.

It's political, not engineering.

The engineering solution removes our poverty & reduces our risk.

The political solution increases their payment and decreases our power as we are all with less influence & voice when we are made poor & put in danger.

Stop thinking of solid fuel reactors as energy machines. They are not. They are influence machines to wield danger & funnel money with a small amount of energy, no more than 5% of what is available, siphoned off as a mere excuse, a cover, for making weapons and taking our money.

It is a machine for extraction it's just not the machine they say it is. Look at it how I describe it and it all will make sense.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:28 | 4570895 Not Too Important
Not Too Important's picture

We missed having a solar flare take half the planet's grid down by 9 days in 2012:

'Fierce solar magnetic storm barely missed Earth in 2012'

"According to University of California, Berkeley, and Chinese researchers, a rapid succession of coronal mass ejections — the most intense eruptions on the sun — sent a pulse of magnetized plasma barreling into space and through Earth’s orbit. Had the eruption come nine days earlier, when the ignition spot on the solar surface was aimed at Earth, it would have hit the planet, potentially wreaking havoc with the electrical grid, disabling satellites and GPS, and disrupting our increasingly electronic lives."

This would take out all the nuke plants, too.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:38 | 4571247 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

You don't know what you're talking about ...

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:40 | 4571269 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

All the more reason to switch as soon as possible to thorium nuclear, which shuts itself down without a problem, and to be done with solid fuel reactors.

Even just the part of being rid of solid fuel reactors saves us from this doomsday scenario, it just means having to be more efficient with our chemical energy sources.

If we shipped less things, used less car travel, used more trains for shipping and moved our families to where resources are instead of shipping them 10 thousand miles, we'd solve a ton of energy problems almost overnight.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 09:35 | 4571936 WhyWait
WhyWait's picture

If our civilization survives the next few years, thorium reactors are a good option.  This is what "we" should have done 40 years ago.   

The biggest problem with solar, wind, wave, geothermal, conservation and public transport is that there's not enough opportunity there for the mega-banks and mega-corporations and their owners.  Maybe starting to plan for a thorium-power industry could help some of those sociopaths let go of the global battle for control of gas and oil and start thinking about and working on a possible alternative future. 

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 00:21 | 4588884 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Ya, they just need some motivational training.

Oh, here's one: sokkomb

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:26 | 4570882 Not Too Important
Not Too Important's picture

Nuclear power plant cooling systems are dependent on external power. If the reactor has a problem, all electrical output stops. Yes, the generators have diesel. No, all the domestic NPP generators are the wrong design for what the plants need - slow startup diesels vs. immediate need for power, like hospital systems. When NPP diesels come on line, like several at Fukushima, they spool up too quick and crack the shafts. The correct diesel systems for NPPs are too expensive to install.

They will all boil within a few days, the nuclear fires all start, and they'll burn for 10 billion years. Every single one of them. Just like Fukushima Daiichi is now. Four reactors, four spent fuel pools, and the common spent fuel pool.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:40 | 4570961 laboratorymike
laboratorymike's picture

Dumb question here: Doesn't inserting control rods and physically seaprating fuel rods collectively cool them to safe levels (as in, not melt down?). Maybe it takes longer than 3 days to safely pull the fuel rods out and cool the core to safe levels.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:57 | 4571012 Not Too Important
Not Too Important's picture

Only as long as the water continues to flow. Once the water stops flowing, the heat starts to build, the water boils off, and TSHTF. Full cold shutdown still requires continuous water flow, which is fully dependent on external sources.

60-70 years ago when they designed this shit, and built it even worse, they didn't care about us. Now we're seeing the 'fruits' of their labors.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:12 | 4571208 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Actually there is no such thing as a "Dumb Question". Physically separating Fuel Rods does not cool them to safe levels. That is why they are stored in Cooling Pools.


How does a Operational Nuclear Plant work? This is really basic. I am certain that I am going to miss telling you about all of the little details so for those whom operate can be pedantic if you choose. But I am addressing this message to a crowd without any understanding. So I am going to approach this really basic. This is not necessarily for you. But it can be.


In an operational Nuclear Plant the Core produces superheated steam which transfers the heat to Mechanical Energy. This Mechanical Energy turns the turbines that generates the Electrical Energy. The "Coolant" is that which transfers the Energy. the Coolant (Water) is under extreme Pressures and high Temperatures before entering into the turbines The turbines rotate and the Generators produce Electricity. Thus the Energy is transfered to the Power Grid. Afterwards the Steam has lost some energy. The Steam is recondensed into Water by cooling and the Water. The Water is recycled through the system. The Water transfers the Thermal Energy from the Core to the turbines which turns the generators and produces Electricity. It is, ideally, a closed system, an adiabatic system.


Really this is not much different from how a Fossil Fuel Fired Electrical Power Plant works. But instead of burning NatGas, Coal, or Fuel Oil, releasing Chemical Energy through combustion, to produce the heat, one is using Nuclear Enerygy derived from a Fission Chain Reaction.


One can modulate the energy produced in the Core by manipulating the Geometry of the core. By inserting fuel rods or by removing them one can create more heat or less heat as Power needs are variable. The more heat which a Core produces yields a greater energy output from the Power Plant. If demand for Power is high then I will want to run more genertors than if demands were lower. So I can increase the Heat from the core by lowering Rods so that I can run more Generators. If the demand for power on the Grid is lower then I may want to take some generators offline. I will need less heat to power less generators thus I raise some fuel rods.


But the POINT is that there is a Maximum Power Output and a Minimum Power Output for any Operational Nuclear Power Plant.


The Minimum Power Output of an Operational Nuclear Power Plant far exceeds that of running the Refrigerators in the Cooling Pools and Core as all configurations for the Core are in a Supercritical Geometry if the plant is to be operational. If the Plant is taken offline then it is going to require outside Power to run the refrigerators for the Cooling Ponds where the rods are stored.


The Fuel Rods produce heat which, if not cooled themselves, will end up melting through their casings. So even if the Fuel Rods were removed from the core they still have to be cooled in the refrigerated Cooling Pools. So removal of the rods from the core may prevent a core meltdown but not a Casing Melt. When Radioactive Materials are called "Hot" it is becase they are thermally warmer that the environment. Concentrated fuels are thermally hot and you would suffer real burns holding them if they are in a critical or supercritical geometry.


If the Cooling Pools are not refrigerated then the water begins to boil away. When all of the Water boils away then the heat from the rods will increase to where they begin to melt and then really nasty events begin to happen.


Reactor #4 at Fukushima was in such a state of shutdown with all rods removed and in the Cooling Pool. Even with the Rods, which some were "depleted"...they will still Melt. They are still thermally hot. So they are in a Cooling Pool which was filled with Salt Water (which is corrosive to the casings) And they need to be removed as they are boiling that water away. Of course more Salt Water is added. (Reactors 1 through 3 have reportedly melted down and some have speculated that they have breached containment.)


Every material known has a melting temperature. And if the Heat cannot be bled off, transferred away, disappated, then the Temperature increases. Water under Standard Pressures will only allow for a Temperature of 212oF. (Hell I can boil water in a paper cup over an open flame as the temperature of the Paper is nowhere near the Flashpont of the paper which is 454oF. It is a good Bar Bet.) The rods are in no danger at the temperature of boiling water.


But then the water boils and undergoes a Phase Change to steam. It boils off. And while steam can become superheated then, of course, the pressure rises (Boyle's Law.) But the steam is not contained in a Boil Off. Thus it cannot adsorb the excess energy and become superheated.


The water ends up boiling away. Nasty events subsequentially happen.


The core may cool to "Safe Levels" But the Cooloing Pools will not. Even with the Rods separated the water will Boil Off. The Rods must be kept cool. Expose them to the air and see what happens.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 02:52 | 4571357 Spanky
Spanky's picture


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:13 | 4570827 P.T.Bull
P.T.Bull's picture

So... why is it that a nuclear power plant could not provide electricity to iteself?

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:20 | 4571227 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Because the Minimum Power that a Power Plant produces far exceeds that of the requirements of the Cooling System. If the Grid is down there is no way to bleed off the excess energy.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:33 | 4571251 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

Has more to do with stability, but, you would not understand the concepts involved.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 03:04 | 4571387 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Stability??? Stability in what? THERMODYNAMICS???


Heat In must equal HEAT OUT. Otherwise it overheats.


There is a little Physical Law...Perhaps you have heard of it??? Conservation of Energy???

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:23 | 4570864 Spanky
Spanky's picture


For... spreading bullshit.

if the grid goes down , so does every single nuclear plant -- johnQpublic

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:14 | 4571215 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Why don't you watch the Discovery Channel video which I posted and learn something? You are clueless. He is absolutely correct.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:34 | 4571254 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture



Discovery Channel or a degree in Power Engineering -




ID 10T.



Thu, 03/20/2014 - 03:00 | 4571384 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

I prefer a Degree in Physics...thank you.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 03:59 | 4571413 Spanky
Spanky's picture

Yes clueless. So clueless, in fact, that I was a qualified reactor operator. I think I've got a vague understanding of the issue, with or without watching a Discovery Channel video.

Get a grip. The scenario the "government agency" proposes is blown way out of proportion. Propaganda to get funding...

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 04:07 | 4571444 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

I am not a Nuclear Physicist. I am not an Operator for any Nuclear Power Plant. My spaciality lies in Astrophysics and Cosmology.


But I do have a small understanding of Nuclear Physics. The Discovery Channel has never addressed Extreme Geometries, have they? Have they discussed lattices?


I rather like Reactors in Extreme Geometries. I like styrofoam. I like Depleted Uranium, U-238, Casings and U-233 and U-235 triggers. I like Lithium-6 Deuteride. I like Tritium. And dodecahedral implosion geometries just turn me on. I like the Hyperbolic Shape Charges. Krytons are cool. It is a blast, you know?


Does the Discovery Channel talk about this?


Shall I publish the numbers? Yes GE makes life better. Where is my Mark IV?


No...I do not know anything about it.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 09:13 | 4571861 Element
Element's picture

It's the boron carbide that does it for me.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 17:37 | 4574328 Spanky
Spanky's picture

I am not a Nuclear Physicist. I am not an Operator for any Nuclear Power Plant. My spaciality lies in Astrophysics and Cosmology. -- Tall Tom

Good for you. But the OP's central issue is not nuclear power plants (or any other power plant for that matter). The issue is how difficult is it to bring down the entirety of the electrical distribution grids in the United States.

Simply eliminating nine grid to grid inter-ties will not doom us to 18 months without power inclusively. Immediately, brownouts and blackouts will occur in many areas, but will be temporary (hours to days, not months) in most. After the inter-ties are cut, metro areas may suffer from rolling blackouts and brownouts due to demand peaks, but that will simply be a function of the available supply from local power plants.

Moreover, you should note that the Alaska inter-ties (south central and southeast) are not connected to the Canadian or lower 48 grids (or each other). Taking them down will do nothing to the rest of the United States.

It's not possible to say why the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released this report, but considering the official .gov mania surrounding "national security" and "terrorists", it's worth asking the question. It would seem that releasing this report might have some serious and negative national security implications if such an attack, with this specific consequence, were possible. So why release it and give the terrorists specific ideas? 

FWIW, many of our electrical grids need an overhaul. Perhaps, by hopping on the national security bandwagon, FERC believes it can get taxpayer money for the big utilities to upgrade their private, for profit, facilities...

In this view, the report is a red herring released to either make a case for public funding for private infrastructure, or create a situation in which someone or some group believes they can effectively attack the US, thereby creating a seemingly serious terrorist incident (without much actual risk) to further the interests of the national security state...

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:30 | 4570905 Not Too Important
Not Too Important's picture

"imagine 50 fukushimas

extinction level event"

We already passed that point on 3/11. Now it's only a matter of accelerating things.


Thu, 03/20/2014 - 02:01 | 4571294 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

I'm preparing tonight by posting a Craigslist advert looking for a 7 foot tall mute to carry me on his shoulders into combat or to militia meetings.

Who rules barter town?!

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:07 | 4570276 kliguy38
kliguy38's picture

where ya gonna get the ice

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:12 | 4570294 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Where ya gonna get a functioning ATM to fund the Coors?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:21 | 4570331 Overfed
Overfed's picture

Just have to trade some silver for it I guess. Myself, I would just drink the wines and ciders that I make from the fruit that grows on my property.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:45 | 4570452 fonestar
fonestar's picture

That would be the best 18 months of fonestar's life.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:53 | 4570747 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

it's good to have a stash of gold, silver, bitcoin, and yes, even $USD.

i hate to hold depreciating FRNs, but it's good to know there's a pile of it sitting there, not dependent on banks, ATMs, or electricity in order to access it.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:02 | 4570783 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 1

You are right about FRNs.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:20 | 4570340 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

More important question; why would you buy Coors?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:28 | 4570380 ss123
ss123's picture

Cuz it's the 'Banquet Beer' - Grab a piece of the legend...


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:34 | 4570673 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Because they were out of Milwaukee's Best?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:46 | 4570724 BlindMonkey
BlindMonkey's picture

Schaefer Light FTW! (That is what I drank in high school anyway. Truly shit brew bit it was CHEAP!)

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:00 | 4570773 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

You haven't died until you've tried Pig's Ear.  Wonder if they still make that.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:15 | 4570834 studfinder
studfinder's picture

Only the best, Schlitz and Blatz.  

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 03:32 | 4571412 Nikao7
Nikao7's picture

Black Label is the nastiest beer I ever drank...strt up skank

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:35 | 4570676 Fox-Scully
Fox-Scully's picture

Probably because they have a bunch of limes in the fridge that is no longer working.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 02:06 | 4571296 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Did you know you can use Iron City beer to rid your garden of slugs? You drink a case and use the empty bottles to crush the slugs into a slimy paste.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:28 | 4570377 Wahooo
Wahooo's picture

Campfires and people around campfires would still work.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:39 | 4570699 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Until the stench from the surrounding shallow latrines overwhems.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:09 | 4570548 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

"Actually might be a good thing if people couldn't get on 'The Grid' for a year or two. "

Really?  The only good it would do is to take out 90% of the countrys' liberals in a few weeks.  You should watch this news clip of the 1977 NYC blackout.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:48 | 4570731 BlindMonkey
BlindMonkey's picture

Can you imagine being "disabledvets" neighbor if he can't get his meds from the VA? The only option would be a bullet between his eyes as he would be truly unbearable.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:52 | 4570745 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

That's from back when society was much less dependent on the grid. Two weeks into the blackout will be the bleakest time the country has ever seen. The FSA will have a very hard time.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:02 | 4570781 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Don't forget all those people who don't function well without their meds, or even die (+20% or so not including illegal street drug addicts).

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 02:09 | 4571304 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

iPads can be used to grind grain, and make nice serving trays.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:55 | 4570756 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Where will you get your warm Coors?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:14 | 4570831 Miner
Miner's picture

Enjoy a warm Coors (no refrigeration) made in dark factories (no power for the bottling lines) delivered to stores (that don't have power) bought with cash (no power for credit cards, atms, or EBT terminals) by fairy-powered trucks (diesel pumps don't work).

In a best case scenario you'd lose 20% of the population, minimum.  The positive effect of this would be a quick end to the NIMBY and "using energy is bad" propaganda.  Of the survivors no-one would ever criticize a coal-fired power plant again.

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 00:17 | 4588879 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

So you're so pampered you forget we know how to make ice purely by chemistry with no electricity? You're so inept about alcohol, a shame really, you think beer wasn't invented until after electricity? Really?

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 00:06 | 4571035 SF beatnik
SF beatnik's picture

Silly boy...


No grid, no Coors. (Coors is piss, anyway.) 


There will be as much piss as ever, but not a pot to pee in.


Within the first three weeks, no gasoline, no diesel. Soon after that, no running water, no nat gas. Then, no police, no fire department. Then total (and permanent) breakdown of what, in these parts,  we call civilization.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:04 | 4570265 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Unthinkable, but power only came into widespread use in the 1880's or so. Local grids would still supply some power. We can adapt and it won't be like the Walking Dead or World War Z, two of the stupidest things I've seen on TV. Whoops, I forget Naked and Afraid where man butt is on full display. Yeech. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:23 | 4570352 NemoDeNovo
NemoDeNovo's picture

I would disagree, the 'grids' are so interconnected, I am not sure how they would or could be segmented as you think?  Not to mention what happens when the Nuke plants go Fukushima on us here?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:09 | 4570543 chemystical
chemystical's picture

The grids are interconnected for balanced and efficient distribution purposes: where it's needed and when.  There is no absolute generative dependence. 

I might get some of my power from any of 4 nearby cities and primarily from my local, but that doesn't mean that if city A's power goes off so does B's, C's, and D's.  It's also the benefit of not putting all of your eggs into one basket; you have multiple baskets and you can choose to shift their contents, but they are not chained together such that they fall over the cliff together.  There is no cascade effect.


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:12 | 4570822 noless
noless's picture

"who's closest to the hydroelectric dam?"

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:40 | 4571260 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Arizona Power Service caused the Blackout to all of San Diego County and into Orange County.. Somebody down in Buckeye threw the wrong switch. (The Nuke Plant down in Buckeye is Southwest of Phoenix. If it ever goes then it will wipe out the entire Valley of the Sun as the area is bounded by Mountain Ranges.)


The San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant near Oceanside has still not come back on line. The pressure blew out the Coolant Seals and cracked the pipes. (Liitle known Fact) They claim it was due to corrosion. (Look at the timeline of the events...)


Anyway it was a cascading failure. The surge of power tripped every circuit breaker along the line and fucked up San Onofre..

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:31 | 4570391 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Could I interest you, kind Sir, in a delightful fifty floor walk up condo in the shitty city?

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of coconuts.  Because Obamy.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:33 | 4570399 Carl Popper
Carl Popper's picture

Our population is too large and too dependent on just in time inventory.


It won't matter how well armed you are and how much food you have.  You won't survive alone or even in small groups. 


Their will be many ghengis khans living nomadically.  They will destroy any isolated farms and small settlements. 


A group of 100 well armed men may be able to hold a perimeter, depending on the size and power of the opposing desperate and well armed nomads. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:55 | 4570495 chemystical
chemystical's picture

"Our population is too large and too dependent on just in time inventory"

1st statement needs clarification.  If you're referring to the global population, then the statement is utter bullshit and spouts the same 'sky is falling' bullshit as did Malthus...TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN YEARS AGO.  <looks out window; yep we're still here.  Humans 1, Malthus 0>.

We first started hearing about peak oil NINETY YEARS AGO.  <filled up the tank just yesterday>

Anthropogenic Global Warming. Arghhhhhh!!!! We're all doomed.  No, scratch that; now it's been rebranded as "climate change".   What were those dinosaurs thinking??  Didn't they know about CFC'sin their deodorant cans?  Or, Christ, at least they should have traded carbon credits.  They should have fudged their data like the deluded believers today.  "Oh, but I have to lie to you to get you to commit to my beliefs!"  Gee, where the fuck have we heard that before?

You can fit the global population in the state of TX and have a lower population density than either NYC or Greater Tokyo.  That's a semi-flippant response, but hopefully you get the point.  Otoh I'm sure you don't.

As to the 2nd statement; agreed, and stupid gets weeded out every now and then, but that's got little to do with the first statement.


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:05 | 4570530 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

Forget your meds?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:27 | 4570639 chemystical
chemystical's picture

Was there a rebuttal in there?  Or was that the battle cry of the clueless douchebag?

P.S. your up arrow appearing within seconds of your post expose the shameless selfie.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 02:19 | 4571321 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

firstdivision is correct, you are off your meds as well as being an asshole, as well as not being able to formulate a logical argument.


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:05 | 4570532 W.M. Worry
W.M. Worry's picture

quote: "You can fit the global population in the state of TX and have a lower population density than either NYC or Greater Tokyo.  That's a semi-flippant response, but hopefully you get the point.  Otoh I'm sure you don't."

More than semi-flippant, by my calculations the main sewer coming out of that State would be 1100 ft. in diameter.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:15 | 4570578 chemystical
chemystical's picture

"Their will be many ghengis khans living nomadically. They will destroy any isolated farms and small settlements."

On what basis can you assert either?  In particular the latter statement is unfounded bullshit (like the earlier Malthusian bullshit - which has 215 years of subsequent proof to discredit him).  I suppose that you envision these hoard burning all the fields and all the bridges and laying waste to every man, woman, child, plant, and animal?  Certainly begs the question, "Um, why?"  Plundering does not equal destroying. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:21 | 4570852 noless
noless's picture

hence where we find ourselves today.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 08:48 | 4571334 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Exponential Growth leads to Exponential Collapse in any adiabatic syatem.


I know that you know the Math.


So you can Place the inhabitants of the World into Texas with a Population Density less than that of New York City. Okay. I will accept that because I have no evidence to the contrary.


But as a mental experiment let's innoculate a Jar of nutrient with some Bacteria. The Bacteria's population DOUBLES every single minute. (Now doubling, Base 2, is less than that of the Natural Logarithmic Base, e, but for our purpose it will suffice.)


This particular culture completely uses up all of the nutrient in the closed container within 60 minutes.


Needless to say without nutrients the culture dies. So what percentage of the nutrient is left after 55 minutes? How about after 30 minutes?


Well the Percentage can be expressed as  A = 100(N - (1/260 - t )) where 'A' is the Percentage Amount, 'N' is the amount of Nutrient, and 't' is the elapsed time.


While it seems as if there is a lot of Nutrient at 55 minutes and it seems like there is an an extreme abundance of nutrient at 30 Minutes the culture will end up dying at 60 minutes due to the lack of Nutrient.


Now if we modify the same equation to reflect Natural Depletion is rather simple. We just change the Base to 'e'. And since we do not know exactly how much Time that our culture has (We do not have the data) we can utilize a variable which I will label 'E' for Extinction of Resource.


Now the Mathematical model appears as A = 100(N - N/eE - t)).


So A will appear extremely large for quite awhile. But the point is that both you and I know that it will collapse, as Exponential Growth leads to Exponential Collapse. 


So your allegory to placing the World's Population into Texas with a Population Density of less than that of New York City smacks of Intellectual Laziness if not outright dishonesty.,


And I know that you know it. It is the Math. Exponential Growth is unsustainable in any adiabatic system.


I will leave that to you to solve it for Extinction of Resource, 'E'

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:47 | 4570459 bcups
bcups's picture

Exactly, we all know there is only one magic transformer maker machine in the whole world and only one guy who knows hoew to operate it. No mere mortal could transport transformers from other countries for a t least two or theree years.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:58 | 4570504 chemystical
chemystical's picture

Aw, dude, just play the game.  Stop poking reality pins into chicken little's balloons. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:10 | 4570553 Sofa King
Sofa King's picture

Bitches are just looking for more money to line their pockets. I heard the same bullshit after the towers came down. The "experts" were saying at least three months before we can start powering up buildings. We had downtown hot-wired by the weekend. Would have been done sooner if the winey cock-sucking Feds would have stated clear and let real men work.

18 months is a long time. The Empire State Building was built in that time frame, mostly by hand. Besides with no power there would no distractions so there would be plenty of time to focus on work.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:39 | 4570955 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

I believe you think the govt. is in control of the situation and that they wouldn't allow this to happen.  You know the same govt. that is trying to provoke a war with Russia, you know the nuclear power that can easily take us out as we can them.  We have fools and religious zealots that are in control of our govt..  100 no fingerprint bullets, that should have you truly thinking.  Someone truly wanted to do this withought being found out and took the time to scout it out with one team and another to come and shoot at it for 19 FUCKING MINUTES!!!!!!!!!  We are being setup for the worse attack that has ever been done to a nation state.  If no power, it will be longer than 18 months you can believe that.  With no phone or internet or anything that a technological society needs, we will be down to being controlled by local strong men and men with weapons and bandits.  There won't be no centralized govt. anymore to build the system up and if you think so look at how people act when when they are inconvenienced for a little bit along with their hatred for their fellow man and woman.

When we go down, it will hurt and hurt badly and we won't recognize our country 20 years from the incident.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 00:05 | 4571028 horseman
horseman's picture

Exactly.  And did you notice "snipers took out the transformer and slipped off into the night.  Worst case ever of domestic terrorism".  If they slipped off, how do they know it was domestic?  hmmm.......

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:14 | 4570284 DanDaley
DanDaley's picture

Eighteen months? How about 3 weeks and you have millions dead and dying from everything associated with pandemonium -food, medicine, heat, and light just for starters.

As Hunter S. Thompson said, When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." There would be an awful lot of pros out there all of a sudden, too.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:20 | 4570334 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Yep, imagine all those people without their meds...  No food after the first week or so.  Cash only, then PMs only.

Got gold?  Got water?  Got guns?  Got skilled people around you trust?

Hey, this SCGAFU!

No, I am not ready for all that...

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:24 | 4570358 NemoDeNovo
NemoDeNovo's picture

Bring on the Walking Dead, time to 'thin' the herd.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:37 | 4570420 Carl Popper
Carl Popper's picture

Well armed nomadic groups laying waste to all the peppers in isolated areas will likely have a better chance of survival than preppers.  It is obvious who is likely to have food.   Your weapons will just be an added enticement to them.  


You will be thinned.  Guaranteed. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:09 | 4570552 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I already have my Mad Max car built.  Phase IV heads and, of course, a blower.  Guess where I'm getting my fuel?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:08 | 4570810 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture


Is that a SENCO nail gun? You'd better be careful with that.

I hear that bankers who have no concept of pain, and want to commit suicide, use that as their weapon of choice sometimes (leaping from tall buildings like Superman also seems to be in vogue, but you have to be really RICH to go out and buy/build one, and nail guns are far more economical. Go out like 'Bob the Builder', or go out like 'Clark Kent', I suppose).

I personally have 'the last of the V-8 Interceptors'. Since it's a frigging Holden, it's prone to electrical issues...

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:18 | 4570583 TheMeatTrapper
TheMeatTrapper's picture

Gangs of niggers and Mexicans trying to move through the swamps and woods against rednecks on their own ground? There'd be thinning alright. Lot's of it.

The disarmed urban millennials in their basements, Sally 'don't need no man' single mommy and Carl the corruptible CEO will all be thinned. 

Preppers and rednecks - "You Loot We Shoot" is a regular drill down here after hurricanes. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:03 | 4570786 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

The guy has a point if you think that you in your isolated farmhouse won't be a target. If you get four or five farmhouses banded together that well armed horde will pass on by toward an easier target. 

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:34 | 4570930 Not Too Important
Not Too Important's picture

Go watch 'The Road', or read the book. It's all spelled out clearly what will happen.

Cannibalism within a few weeks.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 12:50 | 4573074 general ambivalent
general ambivalent's picture

Yeah because the white power utopia is the only place with guns. American exceptionalism on the small - good thing they all hate 'bolshevism.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 23:50 | 4570991 noless
noless's picture

well LEAD(associated) nomadic groups have all the advantage, without intimate knowledge of the geography and infrastructure the defending groups will lay waste to their own stronghold before the wandering tribes even reach them.

of and by no fault of anyone involved. except they never thought to pay their gaurds into their structure.

how many times have you been dropped into a city with nothing but your clothes, a knife, and a bag, and had to figure out just how everything got done?

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:34 | 4570669 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

Hi DoChen - l always love your comments. Now imagine every toilet in a city  - any city flushing - once. And then the tank doesn't refill. Ever again. Now fast forward one week. Two. Three.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:54 | 4570751 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

"You cannot have too many plastic bags."  One of those 100 things that disappear, list is online somewhere.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:58 | 4570752 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Peruvian dupe, sorry.  Uh...

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:18 | 4571225 Ocean22
Ocean22's picture

My parents toilets where un approachable after 4 days if a Seven day outage. . That's 2 people.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:53 | 4570748 DanDaley
DanDaley's picture

I hear ya DoChen. As interesting as it can be to speculate on, read about, and prepare for, a true TEOTWAWKI world would be like a very scary movie in which we all are actors.

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:55 | 4570759 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Actually Dochen many would die within a week. You'd be shocked how many people I see daily on 20+ meds a day just keeping them alive. Any case scenario as this I would be more concerned with hygienic body disposal in the immediate sense. I think the "roving bands" would come a bit later after the low hanging fruit was picked. We country folk in my area are aware of this possibly happening. Many of us have military training and are heavily armed. I hope we never need these skills.


Thu, 03/20/2014 - 02:16 | 4571315 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture


Pig farm.

Jus' sayin.

I'm no expert but from what I'm reading lime would retard pathogens but not be rid of bodies. A sealed container with concentrated calcium hydroxide on the other hand ought to really get rid of the solids, probably the pathogens too until the container ruptures & the liquids dilute in water. Dunno.

The only other reference I can imagine is any historical documents on illness or village/dwelling proximity to large battle-grounds of history's wars from the last 20 centuries. I would imagine people avoided the areas on purpose so would have had the oppotunity to escape diseased water.

What do you think? You're the microbiologist, was any of this historical stuff something you came across in y'all's larnin's?

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 04:20 | 4571450 Tall Tom
Tall Tom's picture

Fire and cremation of Human Remains will be the most hygenic method of body disposal.


Lime works well if you are into Serial Murder. A Pig Farm works just as well.


But there are economies of scale. How much Lime are you going to be able to get once all transportation stops? And how fast will you slaughter the Pigs if you are fortunate enough to have them?

Tue, 03/25/2014 - 00:09 | 4588862 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

How much fuel do you have for cremation? In Japan during the first days of Fukushima they flat out ran out.

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 01:16 | 4571221 Ocean22
Ocean22's picture

In this senero only a few things matter.

Water (drinking)
Food (canned/dry)
Wood for heat
Small generator run just when needed ( not all day )
Solar chargers


Wed, 03/19/2014 - 21:25 | 4570335 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Peruvian internet burp/duplicate, sorry

Wed, 03/19/2014 - 22:20 | 4570598 Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

This is like getting into a fight and telling your opponent exactly where to hit you so you go down for the count

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