S U M M I T
ELECTRIC INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY SUMMIT Washington DC
April 11-12, 2011 The Capitol Building, US Congress, and the Fairmont, Washington D.C.
ELECTRIC INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY SUMMIT - WASHINGTON D.C.
REPORT: THE SECOND ANNUAL WORLD INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY SUMMIT On Monday and Tuesday, April 11-12, 2011, the 2nd Electric Infrastructure Security (EIS) Summit took place in the U.S. Capitol Building and the Fairmont Washington D.C. Government representatives of twenty four nations took part in the brieďŹ ngs and deliberations, with representation from North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Following the inaugural EIS Summit in London in 2010, this new government / NGO partnership has become an effective framework, both within the U.S. government and internationally, for cooperation and coordination in addressing severe electromagnetic risks to critical national infrastructures.
Mission EISS Washington D.C. was focused on enhancing communication and coordination among energy sector stakeholders: concerned U.S. government departments and agencies, allied governments and international corporate leaders. Given the remarkably large ďŹ eld of critical players in the energy marketplace in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere, the EIS Summit process is designed to help foster the mix of education, collaboration and public and private partnerships that will be essential to protect our critical infrastructures, and assure societal health and continuity.
Conclusion As in the founding summit in London in 2010, a common theme expressed by many speakers was the importance of international coordination in addressing severe electromagnetic threats. In EISS Washington D.C. this theme was expanded, with a special focus on bringing together the many concerned U.S. government organizations. The summit included Assistant Secretaries of the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy, senior management from FERC, the Director of NOAA, members of Congress and many other organizations. U.S. government representatives joined their international counterparts in pointing to the importance of the EIS Summit process as a critical forum to help support national and international efforts toward providing critical infrastructure protection against electromagnetic threats.
EIS Summit Presentations EISS Washington D.C. was co-chaired by U.S. Congressman Trent Franks and U.S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and the Rt. Hon. James Arbuthnot MP, Chair of the U.K. House of Commons Defence Select Committee. Senator Jon Kyl and Congressman Dan Lungren were Honorary Co-Chairs. Congressman Franks opened the summit, referring to the unique gathering of senior international government and corporate delegates as a historic moment. He called on the delegates “to put aside any differences we have on other issues,” to “make a critical difference … to the national security of the United States of America, to your own home countries, and indeed to the peace and security of the entire human family.” While ubiquitous, instantly available power has brought our societies an unprecedented standard of living, “we have also grown profoundly dependent upon electricity,” he said, and “we now ﬁnd among our strengths an unsettling vulnerability.” “Here’s the grim truth,” he said, quoting Brink Lindsey. “We are only one act of madness away from a social cataclysm unlike anything our country has ever known.” Referring to his membership on the Congressional Strategic Forces Committee, the Congressman explained that, of all the threat brieﬁngs he receives, the threat of nuclear EMP “is the one that frightens me the most.” “The ﬁrst purpose of any government,” Congressman Franks continued, “is to ensure and protect the lives and constitutional rights of its citizens. If we fail that test, then it doesn’t really matter what else we do right.” Congressman Franks went on to outline his sponsorship of the Shield Act, intended to encourage electric grid protection against natural and malicious EMP threats.
Morning Keynote Speakers: The United States Department of Defense and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency EISS Summit delegates were addressed in the morning Keynote Session by Assistant Secretary of Defense Dr. Paul Stockton, Assistant Secretary of Defense Sharon Burke, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Dorothy Robyn, and DoD Principal Deputy General Counsel Bob Taylor, and by Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Director of NOAA. “The Department of Defense,” Assistant Secretary Stockton explained, “depends for 99% of our electric power on the private sector. We’re utterly dependent on the ﬂow of this electric power to be able to execute our core responsibilities to the nation, and yet in the Department of Defense, we don’t own the electric power generation.” This situation creates, Dr. Stockton explained, a serious vulnerability. “Long-term outages “We would be facing a of electricity for the Department of Defense public safety, a public would not only disrupt our ability to conduct health environment, operations abroad, severely disrupt them, a requirement to but we would be in a different world here at provide support to our home.”
citizens that would be
With long term outages due to natural unprecedented.” causes or an EMP weapon, Dr. Stockton said “we would be facing a public safety, a Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Stockton public health environment, a requirement to provide support to our citizens that would be unprecedented.” The most immediate societal crisis, in his view, would be water. “When you lose electricity for a long-term power outage,” he pointed out, “the ﬁrst thing that you’re going to lose is municipal water systems around the nation.” For the Pentagon, Assistant Secretary Stockton explained, the key will be to “partner with Congress,” to work together with all the responsible government agencies and, especially, to “work very, very closely” with the private sector.” The Assistant Secretary made it clear that, while this subject is mission critical, DoD understands it is a complex problem. “As we move forward to address these very serious challenges,” he said, “ … to be candid, we’re not far along.” These thoughts were ampliﬁed by the other senior DoD speakers. Deputy Undersecretary Dorothy Robyn, agreeing that “the security of the grid, is a real concern to the Department of Defense,” called for active involvement of the Pentagon in helping partner with other government agencies and departments to resolve this vulnerability. “I think we can be a signiﬁcant part of the solution,” she explained.
Assistant Secretary Sharon Burke, focusing on today’s reality – with all critical societal infrastructures tied together in a common vulnerability – spoke of the need for resilience in these systems. “We have to be able to build resilience from the ground up,” she told the delegates, “from the little things that don’t sound like they’re important but that can make all the difference, to having … a military operational capability that can function and that’s safe from day-to-day.” Resilience and continuity of operations, she continued, must start “in the day-today business of our bases and go all the way up to the greatest threat level.”
Principal Deputy General Counsel Bob Taylor focused on the need to broaden awareness of the issue. “One very important role for the Department of Defense is to help articulate how we would be affected.” This issue, he said, “is critically important … to national security, but also critically important to day-to-day life. As Dr. Stockton indicated, an outage of the grid would have enormous real-world consequences,” making life “virtually unsustainable for a large part of the American people.” Echoing a reference by Congressman Franks to his children, Mr. Taylor focused on his own children. “I look to their future with passion and concern. And I think we all owe it to the future and to our own generation as well to address this problem forthrightly and with great commitment and understanding of the role of science, but also understanding the critical role of the private sector.” “Government and the private sector together must address this problem. Promptly,” he concluded.
NOAA Director and Undersecretary of Commerce Dr. Jane Lubchenco brought a space weather perspective to the morning keynote session. “In just ten years,” she pointed out, looking back to the previous peak in the twelve year solar cycle, ”the world has changed dramatically. And it has become signiﬁcantly more vulnerable to disruption by the Sun’s moods.” “Severe geomagnetic storms can result in global impact that will require a global response,” she said. Referring to a recent letter in the New York Times authored by the Science Advisors of the U.S. President and the U.K. Prime Minister, she highlighted their recommendation that the two nations “undertake tangible and substantive steps to anticipate space weather storms; to develop mitigation strategies to protect our critical infrastructure; and to ensure that the power grid and other essential assets will weather and recover quickly from the next major space weather storm.”
“In just ten years the world has changed dramatically. And it has become significantly more vulnerable to disruption by the Sun’s moods.” Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Director, Undersecretary of Commerce
“I believe,” the Undersecretary concluded, “that a signiﬁcant space weather storm is not a matter of if, but of when.”
Problem and Impact – Severe Space Weather and EMP Congresswoman Yvette Clarke opened the second session of the summit, covering a wide range of subjects in her comments. A Co-Chair of the EIS Summit, she began her remarks with a reference to last-year’s Congressional Hearings on these threats. As then-chair of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cyber Security, Science and Technology (Homeland Security Committee), Rep. Clarke recalled that “members of the committee, particularly Mr. Lungren and I, were very alarmed “The likelihood of a by what the witnesses told us; we as geomagnetic event capable a nation have virtually no protection of of crippling our electric our electric grid against electromagnetic grid is one hundred threats, and very little against cyber percent.” attacks.” “Protecting the electric grid from EMP,” she continued, “will require “Electromagnetic weapons the best efforts of both government and … are both commercially industry.”
“We as a nation have virtually no protection of our electric grid against electromagnetic threats.” Rep. Yvette Clarke
“The likelihood of a geomagnetic event capable of crippling our electric grid is one hundred percent,” Congresswoman Clarke explained. “Electromagnetic weapons such as an intense microwave and radiofrequency devices are both commercially available and easy to construct. Rogue states continue to try to develop nuclear weapons which could be used to generate electromagnetic pulses. To protect our civil societies in the face of these mounting threats requires the hardening of our grids, and we have to do it now.” She concluded: “The consequences of such an event could literally alter, disrupt, or destroy our current societies.”
available and easy to construct. Rogue states continue to try to develop nuclear weapons which could be used to generate electromagnetic pulses.”
“The consequences of such an event could literally alter, disrupt, or destroy our current societies.” “To protect our civil societies in the face of these mounting threats requires the hardening of our grids, and we have to do it now.”
Addressing the need for grid protection, Rep. Yvette Clarke the Congresswoman told the delegates “time is not on our side,” and went on to express her concern that, with current efforts limited to “a relatively slow-moving consensus process,” these efforts “may still be working at trying to decide if solar storms pose a threat when the next one hits us.”
Rep. Clarke also gave the delegates an overview of the most recent U.S. government activity in this area, including the recently published severe space weather article by the White House and
U.K. Science Advisors, the 2010 electromagnetic threat study the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and her current efforts in Congress as co-sponsor of the Shield Act, designed to provide regulatory authority to address these threats. Rep. Clarke also spoke brieﬂy about electric grid protection. The Congressional EMP Commission, she said, “estimates that equipment available today could protect high voltage transformers in the U.S., the elements of the grid most vulnerable to GIC for an estimated investment of only seventy-ﬁve to onehundred and ﬁfty million dollars. That commission also estimated that very robust protection of the grid, including transformers but also generators, … control equipment, grid islanding and simulation and training could be accomplished for $800 million to $1.5 billion.
Mikael Odenberg, CEO of the National Electric Grid and former Defense Minister of Sweden, concluded the introduction to the “Problems and Impacts” Session. “From a Swedish perspective, this international outreach is extremely important. Homeland security or societal security, which is a more European term, calls for international and … Trans-Atlantic cooperation,“ he said. And speaking of priorities, “to my mind, there are few emergency scenarios today that require such a gross cooperation as this, which are threatening our electric infrastructure: large serious space weather situation, and electromagnetic pulse.” Mr. Odenberg also offered the delegates some historical perspective. “Actually forty years ago, EMP -- nuclear induced EMP was a concern, for example in our defense planning.” “It is by the way a bit interesting that we are discussing EMP, nuclear induced EMPs and we are discussing space weather and geomagnetic storms as if this phenomenon were new. EMP has been known since 1945, common knowledge since the 1950s. And we had a severe geomagnetic storm hit in the northern hemisphere 150 years ago, where you could see the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis in Florida.” “So the new thing,” Mr. Odenberg concluded, “is not the EMP. The new thing is not the space weather. The new thing is the vulnerability of modern society. The cause of outages is basically irrelevant. We are heavily dependent on electricity and without
“The United States and Europe are interconnected in many ways, and … therefore we need to set ambitious goals for cooperation.” Mikael Odenberg, CEO of the National Electric Grid and former Defense Minister, Sweden
electricity modern society collapses.” In regard to consequences, Mr. Odenberg said, “Our basic infrastructure can be totally wiped out with blackouts over huge areas and regions in Europe and Northern America. And … the power grid recovery process would be very complex, very difﬁcult, and above all very lengthy … months, perhaps years without electric power. And that will make in the modern society urban life impossible … There would be no supply of drinking water, no food, no gasoline, no transportation, no communication, no medical care, ﬁnancial transactions.” Mikael Odenberg concluded with a call for practical measures for international cooperation. “The United States and Europe are interconnected in many ways, and … therefore we need to set ambitious goals for “The new thing is not the cooperation in the area of societal security EMP. The new thing is and also in the ﬁeld of security research.” “It is vital for protecting critical infrastructure and key resources,” he continued, “that we build and maintain trusted networks for information sharing...” “We have to work collaboratively on improving protection and resiliency of critical infrastructure. We also need to boost training both on the national level but also [international] joint training and education, including different exercises. Forging operational ties requires insights into how our differences interact … In the event of a major geomagnetic storm to Earth, I can promise you everyone that will be hit will need assistance.
not the space weather. The new thing is the vulnerability of modern society.”
“Our basic infrastructure can be totally wiped out with blackouts over huge areas and regions in Europe and Northern America.” Mikael Odenberg, CEO of the National Electric Grid and former Defense Minister, Sweden
“So we need to work closely with responsible infrastructure providers to develop resilience and prevention strategies against the risks posed by space weather and EMPs. I think decision makers and stakeholders have to be aware both of the potential threats to our infrastructure and of the need for international collaboration and co-creation to beat those threats.
Session II PANEL
Severe Space Weather: Understanding the Global Threat The Severe Space Weather Panel began with a presentation by Dr. Daniel Baker. As Chair of the NASA National Academy of Sciences Severe Space Weather Study, Dr. Baker provided insights into the report authored by the NASA / NAS study. “We live,’ Dr. Baker, explained, “in the outer atmosphere of a highly variable magnetic star… capable of producing huge outbursts of energy. … when such clouds interact with the Earth’s protective magnetic cocoon, these disturbances can lead to … powerful auroral displays and huge geomagnetically induced currents.” “I think it’s important to remember that our society is a complex cyber-electric cocoon. We have the electrical power grid, we have the communications systems, we have the satellites in orbit around the Earth. All of these are interdependent and all of them are vulnerable to the effects of space weather.” In particular, he said, “the grid is becoming increasingly vulnerable to [a] space weather event.” To give these concerns a real-world context, Dr. Baker discussed a dramatic geomagnetic storm that took place 150 years ago. “In 1859, a very powerful storm was witnessed by British astronomer Richard Carrington. … Fires broke out in telegraph stations ... auroras were seen as far south as Cuba.” And it is important to realize, he said, that “the Carrington event occurred during a relatively modest sunspot maximum.” “A storm of this magnitude,” he said, “… can knock out hundreds of high -- extremely high voltage transformers, … [and] the impacts of space weather on the electric power grid in particular could be truly devastating.”
“Our society is a complex cyberelectric cocoon. We have the electrical power grid, we have the communications systems, we have the satellites in orbit around the Earth. All … are vulnerable to the effects of space weather.” -Dr. Daniel Baker, Chair, NASA / NAS Severe Space Weather Study
Joining Dr. Baker on the panel was John Kappenman, Principal Investigator on the NAS Severe Space Weather Study and the U.S. Congress EMP Commission. Echoing Dr. Baker’s observations, Kappenman explained, “something that could come really from just one violent active region on the Sun can cause essentially continent wide, perhaps even planetary scale impacts to our critical infrastructure.” “We ran simulated scenarios on today’s power grid for a repeat of storms like the Carrington event, like the 1921 storm event and so forth, things that are probable within a one-in-thirty to one-in-hundred year sort of scenario …. And you see we can be looking at blackouts of unprecedented scale.”
John Kappenman also addressed the question, “how did we get into this scenario?” One of the problems,” he explained, “was that we did not really understand the extremes of the environment. …. And if you take away electric power, virtually every other critical infrastructure will either fail immediately or within a matter of a few days after the loss of that electric power … This is something that literally could put the lives of millions of people at risk, could impact future generations of our society.” “[In] the March 1989 geomagnetic storm,” following the provincewide blackout in Quebec, “… we probably came very close to an event that could have precipitated a blackout that would have extended from ... the New England area, clear across to the Paciﬁc Northwest.” He went on to explain that, as an example, the 1921 event is estimated at about ten times the magnitude of this dramatic ”We’ve had about 1989 storm. “We’ve also learned in the last decade,” he said, “that it’s not just power grids at high latitudes that need to be concerned about this.” Depending on the magnitude of an event, problems could also occur at equatorial latitudes. “For example,” he explained, “we measured very large currents in southern Japan in the October 2003 storm. South Africa experienced ﬁfteen large high-voltage transformers that failed during that October 2003 storm.”
“Something that could come really from just one violent active region on the Sun can cause essentially continent wide, perhaps even planetary scale impacts to our critical infrastructure.” John Kappenman, Principal Investigator, NAS Severe Space Weather Study and U.S. Congress EMP Commission.
a half century long failure to understand the risk of space weather and especially how this risk has inadvertently migrated into the electric grid infrastructures.” John Kappenman, Principal Investigator, NAS Severe Space Weather Study and U.S. Congress EMP Commission.
Discussing the range of risks to key grid assets, John Kappenman said that nuclear power plants are at particular risk. These plants “have very large transformers, they have low resistance, … and they have much higher exposure to geomagnetic storms than most of the other transformers in the power grid. So that makes them more vulnerable to damage and failure…” In terms of risk due to nuclear EMP, “There are also things going on within the nuclear plants that arguably make them more vulnerable to EMP,” Kappenman said. In summary, Mr. Kappenman said, “I think what we have to understand is that we’ve had about a half century long failure to understand the risk of space weather and especially how this risk has inadvertently migrated into the electric grid infrastructures.”
Session Two concluded with a panel - EMP: Threat and Impact - EMP Commission Perspective. Dr. Robert Hermann, one of the Commissioners on the EMP Commission, began by summarizing the commission’s mandate from Congress: “The duties of the commission,” he said, “were to assess the EMP threat to the United States; the nature and magnitude of EMP threats within the next 15 years from all potentially hostile states or non-state actors; assess the vulnerability of U.S. military and especially civilian systems; the capability of the U.S. to repair and recover from damage to military and civilian systems; the feasibility and cost of EMP hardening select military and select civilian systems; and represent protection steps that the U.S. should take. And we did more or less all of that.” Summarizing the Commission’s conclusions brieﬂy, he said, “… an important point for this commission was EMP is one of a small number of threats that could hold at risk the continued existence of U.S. civil society and can disrupt our military forces and our ability to project military power.”
“… if we actually announced to the world we had a lethal flaw in our system, which we were not going to do anything about, which could be easily attacked by a cheap shot from a bunch of amateurs, then we’re inviting such a cheap shot from a bunch of amateurs.”
Dr. Hermann also addressed the impact of the changing geopolitical reality. “The number of U.S. adversaries capable of EMP attack is greater than during the Cold War,” he said, pointing out that, as Dr. Robert Hermann, Commissioner, opposed to the bi-polar political world U.S. Congress EMP Commission of the past, in today’s and tomorrow’s world we have many possible enemies. “Potential adversaries are quite aware of EMP as a strategic weapon,” he continued, “and we think that neither the military or civil structure is effectively dealing with the problem.” Having concluded that EMP is “one of a handful of threats that could be considered an existential threat to the United States,” the commission was then asked to address the question of whether an EMP event was likely. “In our judgment,” Dr. Hermann said, “it was not a sensible question to ask, because how likely it was depended a lot on what we did about it. I mean, if we actually announced to the world we had a lethal ﬂaw in our system, which we were not going to do anything about, which could be easily attacked by a … cheap shot from a bunch of amateurs, then we’re inviting such a cheap shot from a bunch of amateurs.”
“EMP is one of a small number of threats that could hold at risk the continued existence of U.S. civil society.“ Dr. Robert Hermann, Commissioner, U.S. Congress EMP Commission
Concluding, Dr. Hermann offered an opinion on the best path forward. Securing the national grid against electromagnetic threats will require establishing “an accountable, responsible, authorized authority to control and maintain that part of the activity which you wish to secure,” he said.
Historically, John Kappenman pointed out, speaking on the EMP Commission panel, investing in grid protection is not a new subject. In addressing common threats, “the investment … the electric power industry has made truly extends into billions of dollars” he said. By contrast, with little experience with geomagnetic storms and virtually none with EMP, the electric power industry today does not have hardware or procedural protection to address severe events which “can literally be planetary scale effects, and impact multiple transformers and portions of the power grid all at the same time.” However, there are important opportunities for synergistic protection in this area, John Kappenman explained. Hardening the power grid against geomagnetic storms “also provides protection against the slow pulse or E-3 portion of an EMP “Methods for attack.” Similarly, hardening against the fast pulse of hardening EMP “helps diminish the threat from radio frequency infrastructures are weapon attacks or the IEMI class,” protecting against known and readily a range of non-nuclear EMP threats. available. We do What are the options for protection? “Methods for hardening infrastructures are known and readily available. We do not see this any longer as being a technology push,” Kappenman said. Approaches include:
not see this any longer as being a technology push.” John Kappenman, Principal Investigator, NAS Severe Space Weather Study and U.S. Congress EMP Commission.
GIC current blockers for transformer protection
“Improved situational awareness” for non-grid users to enable temporary off-grid operation, and
A range of options for electronic protection against the fast (E1) pulse of nuclear or non-nuclear EMP
In this latter case, for EMP “E1” pulse protection, a mix of old and new technologies can provide a complete menu. Commercial companies are already “providing consulting, guidelines, materials, and systems” for protection of control and data lines. In other areas, such as shielding electric power feeds, recent technology breakthroughs enable high quality protection at modest cost. In some cases the natural upgrade process, such as migration to ﬁber-optics data and control cables, offers free protection against the full set of threats.
Dr. Pry summarized the work of the Congressional EMP Commission which he supported. “The commission,” he explained, “had the power and had the support of all departments and agencies of the United States,” including “the Department of Defense, intelligence communities, the national laboratories,” and also reached out to the private sector and industry. The Commission looked at, for example, a nuclear explosion over Cleveland Ohio, which could trigger power grid failures across the entire eastern seaboard. “Our prediction was that the eastern power grid from Canada to Florida would go down and not be recoverable for months.” The Congressional Commission’s conclusions? After eight years of hearings, laboratory tests and analysis, “the commission estimated that two-thirds to ninety percent of the American people would perish in the aftermath of an EMP attack.” The commission concluded, Dr. Pry told the delegates, that “while it is a technological Achilles heel if we don’t do anything about it, … we know how to ﬁx the problem.” He went on to explain that technology is not the problem, following ﬁfty years of Pentagon investment in developing technologies to protect against EMP. “Nor,” he continued, “is it that expensive.” Bounding the cost, he said that at minimum, the 300 most important high voltage transformers in the United States could be protected for as little as $100 to $200 million, while on the high end, the commission had projected that $10 to $20 billion invested over three to ﬁve years would provide “robust protection.” Dr. Pry also addressed the slow pace of implementing measures to address this problem. “The real Achilles heel,” he said, both nationally and internationally, is “bureaucratic and institutional. The problem with EMP is that it cuts across so many segments of society, it affects everything. And there is no one institution responsible.”
“The commission estimated that twothirds to ninety percent of the American people would perish in the aftermath of an EMP attack.” Dr. Peter Pry, Senior Staff, Congressional EMP Commission
DOE and DHS perspectives on electromagnetic threats and energy and infrastructure policy. Bruce Held, Director of the DOE Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, spoke of the strategic risk of nuclear EMP. “We’ve known about the threat of electromagnetic pulse to our critical infrastructure for many, many years, since the Cold War,” he said. After the Cold War, “there was a general feeling that this problem has gone away. That is a big mistake. The problem is still very much here. Indeed, the problem may be even greater today than “From a DOE it was during the Cold War because we perspective I would are much more reliant on IT infrastructure, like to underscore for all aspects of our economy and our the importance the economic wellbeing.” Department of Energy Mr. Held deﬁned three different EMP threat scenarios, each with different areas of concern. “On terrorists – If they get their hands on a nuclear weapon we must expect that they will use it to kill members of our community. We must deny them this capability.”
places on a public/ private partnership in addressing this threat at this time.” Bruce Held, Director, DOE Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence
“It’s going to be much more difﬁcult for us to deny rogue states the capability of nuclear weapons,” he continued, “but as hard as it may be that is the best and ﬁrst line of defense. We must keep at that. A nuclear armed Iran will not be good for us …”
“The threat from an EMP attack is massive.” Bruce Held, Director, DOE Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence
The risk of EMP from great powers is, he added, “in some ways more complicated and some ways simpler. The capability is there. It exists. It has existed for a long period of time.” Here, he went on, “we have to really work on the intent side. Thankfully our ability to work in a cooperative basis with some potential peer adversaries, great power adversaries is greater today than it was during the Cold War. “ “At the same time,” he cautioned, “the same steps that we are taking to defend our critical infrastructure … to reduce the gain and increase the consequence, the same theory the same practice has to be applied to potential peer adversaries as well.” Some of the discipline this implies has been lost since the cold war, Held asserted. “We have to kind of re-instill that discipline and I think the work of the Congressman has been great in instilling that leadership.”
“The threat from an EMP attack is massive,” he concluded. “From a DOE perspective I would like to underscore the importance the Department of Energy places on a public/private partnership in addressing this threat at this time. Neither the public sector nor the private sector can do this on its own. We have to help each other.”
DHS Assistant Secretary Douglas Smith opened his remarks by outlining DHS’s concern, and summarizing the challenges offered by severe space weather. About 60 years after the severe 1859 geomagnetic storm took place, he said, “on May sixteenth, 1921, the great storm [took place] which disrupted telegraph service, caused ﬁres, and burned out cables. These [geomagnetic] storms will occur every 100 years.” Our technology-dependent society is exposed to unique new risks, and today, “our major threats do not necessarily derive from the militaries of other nations.” “Our electrical infrastructure is the backbone of the way we all do business. Major disruptions are totally unacceptable and need to be mitigated,” he said. How should such concerns be addressed? “DHS believes ﬁrmly in the shared responsibilities to handle these issues,” he continued. “DHS’s responsibility to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure was established in 2002 by the National Strategy for Homeland Security and Homeland Security Act.” However, he continued, “we have a long tradition in our country of creating problem-solving partnerships between the government and the private sector.” In this case, “the vast majority of this critical infrastructure of the United States is privately owned and operated, making public/private partnerships essential to protect and boost the resilience of critical infrastructure and respond to catastrophic events.”
“Our electrical infrastructure is the backbone of the way we all do business. Major disruptions are totally unacceptable” DHS Assistant Secretary Douglas Smith
The Cause – Solar statistics, terrorists and rogue states, and the government challenge: Imagining the Unimaginable The Rt. Hon. James Arbuthnot MP chaired Session IV, exploring the causes of malicious and natural EMP, and the challenges they present to infrastructure protection. Addressing the political challenges, James Arbuthnot began by pointing out that, unfortunately, our critical infrastructures today have little protection, and awareness of this threat is minimal. This, he explained, deﬁnes the challenge. “The extraordinary thing,” he said, “is that almost nobody knows about it. You know about it. A few geeks out there know about it. Wikipedia knows about it. The Iranian leadership knows about it. But if you go to the British Ministry of Defense or really parts of the Department of Defense here, and you talk about an electromagnetic pulse or solar ﬂares, and if you say that “[EMP] cuts across so sort of thing to any man in any street in many departmental virtually any country in the world, a blank responsibilities that look will come across their faces, and it will actually it has become the be somebody else’s department.” responsibility of nobody.” This means education will be essential. Rt. Hon. James Arbuthnot MP, Chair, U.K. Defence Select Committee “What we’ve got to do is to bring to the attention of the world what is potentially the greatest catastrophe to have hit the world for centuries,” he said. And this education process will be complex. Public opinion, he pointed out, is cynical. “The world believes something only if it is backed up by the very clearest evidence and often it doesn’t believe it even then.” The key difﬁculty however, he continued, is the remarkable breadth of impact of this risk. This threat, he said, “cuts across so many departmental responsibilities that actually it has become the responsibility of nobody.”
“What we’ve got to do is to bring to the attention of the world what is potentially the greatest catastrophe to have hit the world for centuries.” Rt. Hon. James Arbuthnot MP, Chair, U.K. Defence Select Committee
His conclusion: “One of the most serious risks we face in the issue of electric infrastructure [e-threat vulnerability] is that nobody knows about it. And until this is a matter of common discussion, in each of our countries, in the ofﬁces of those who deal with our electricity supplies, with our hospitals, with our water supply, with our ﬁnancial transactions, with our transport systems, with our communication systems, we shall still have work to do. So let’s get to it.”
Addressing the subject of Session IV, “The Cause – Solar statistics, terrorists and rogue states, and the government challenge: Imagining the Unimaginable,” the panel continued its discussions after the comments of EIS Summit Co-Chair and Session Chair, Rt. Hon. James Arbuthnot MP. The second speaker, Congressman Dan Lungren, also a co-chair of the summit, continued to focus on the speciﬁc panel topic, “Understanding the Challenge.” Congressman Dan Lungren, a member of the House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees, pointed out the security implications of natural and malicious electromagnetic threats to our critical infrastructures, including the risk of an EMP strike by terrorists or a rogue nation. Addressing the legislative challenge, the characterized the e-threat as “one of the most
serious challenges facing this nation and facing this world.” “I do not despair of leadership,” he said, referring to the need for government and industry leadership in addressing electromagnetic threats to vital infrastructures. However, while EIS Summit delegates understand the problem, he continued, echoing James Arbuthnot, “99.9% of the people do not. And so we have a tremendous educational campaign to be engaged in.” The Congressman felt it would be important to ﬁnd a way to effectively communicate the challenge, in a context that would lead to positive action, and not to confusion or paralysis. “We do need to ﬁnd a language that makes it possible for us to reach the public,” he said, “so that they on the one hand will understand the urgency of the matter; on the other hand will not be so overwhelmed that they are frozen or they are paralyzed by the threat.”
Dr. Thomas J. Bogdan, Director of the Space Weather Prediction Center of NOAA’s National Weather Service, provided a more detailed look at severe space weather and its impact. Everything we depend on, he said, for our security, our lives and our livelihood, can be impacted by a severe geomagnetic storm. “Think of it,” he suggested, “as a hurricane in space.” When that storm impacts our magnetosphere, changes in the earth’s magnetic ﬁeld induce powerful currents in the ground that are “picked up by giant antennae such as the power grid.” What is the probability of a catastrophic storm? “The chance of it happening in our children’s lifetimes … is not a bet I would like to take,” Dr. Bogdan asserted. “As Dr. Lubchenco said earlier, it’s not a question of if, but it’s a question of when.”
“Think of it as a hurricane in space. The chance of it happening in our children’s lifetimes … is not a bet I would like to take.” “As Dr. Lubchenco said earlier, it’s not a question of if, but it’s a question of when.”
Dr. Bogdan also provided some historical Dr. Thomas J. Bogdan, Director, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center context. “What has the Sun been capable of doing? I list here a series of extreme solar storms that date back to the 1859 event.” He referred, for example, to the Easter Sunday storm in 1940, “when a million messages were unable to make their way for Easter greetings because of space weather. No,” he concluded, “space weather is not new. It has been out there, but the impacts of not being able to get an Easter message, and the impacts of being without power for an extended period of time are very, very different.”
The final speaker of the panel was Curtis Birnbach, President and Chief Technology Officer of Advanced Fusion Systems, and a noted expert in high power electric systems. “Today,” That [range],” he said, he began, “I’m going to talk about the non“is large enough that nuclear approach [to EMP].” He started you can really do a lot by describing a non-nuclear EMP weapon of damage and in a he built into a van, from conventional coordinated attack you components acquired at retail stores. “This could do extraordinary is a device I built a couple of years ago. amounts of damage. This is an EMP level source. We tested this in conjunction with the US army on a Curtis Birnbach, President and Chief Technology Officer of Advanced Fusion government range because it’s obviously Systems too dangerous to test in my garage where I built it. I built this for a triﬂing sum of money … and the pulses from this unit blew right through the wall of the test chamber.”
“The footprint of a non-nuclear EMP event,” he continued, “is of necessity smaller,” referring to an area of inﬂuence measured in miles or tens of miles, rather than the thousands of miles typically quoted for the range of nuclear devices. “That [range],” he said, “is large enough that you can really do a lot of damage and in a coordinated attack you could do extraordinary amounts of damage.” He concluded his presentation by discussing different approaches for protection of transformers and sensitive electronics against these threats. Note: Dr. Peter Pry, Senior Staff for the EMP Commission, commented later in the afternoon on this subject. “Non-nuclear EMP [also known as radio frequency or RF weapons] weapons are also actually used in the real world right now,” he said. “On the ninth of March the U.S. and South Korean forces were conducting a joint exercise. The North Koreans used a Russian purchased radio frequency weapon to attack communications and blackout communications in three South Korean cities.”
The fifth PANEL, “Rogue States and Trans-National Terror Groups: Current and Future Threat vs Vulnerability,” focused on the political history and future risks of an EMP strike. The first speaker was the Rt. Hon. Dr. Kim Howells, former Chair, United Nations Security Council; Former Chair, “In 2011, we can only UK Intelligence and Security ignore at our peril the Committee; and Former Minister, potential for hugely Counter Terrorism and Counterdamaging mischief to be Proliferation, United Kingdom. Dr. wrought in our societies Howells, having spent most of his career and our economies by tracking trans-national terror groups individuals and elements and other dangerous groups for the who may be living among United Kingdom, illustrated the ease us and who understand with which our most delicate and critical the continuing infrastructures can be compromised. Based on his own experience, Dr. Howells said, a small group of intelligent, highly motivated but otherwise ordinary people were able to “ﬁgure out ways that, without explosives,” the 400 kV transmission lines across the UK could be sabotaged.
vulnerability of our electricity infrastructures and supply systems.”
“There are people,” he said, “whose motivations are so powerful that with hardly a second thought they kick aside the barriers” Rt. Hon. Dr. Kim Howells
Rt. Hon. Dr. Kim Howells, former Chair, UN Sec. Council and UK Intelligence and Security Committee. Former UK Counter Terrorism Minister
Decades ago, he said, “we knew then that the electricity supply infrastructure was vulnerable and as we’ve heard today, it remains vulnerable. Not just in the United Kingdom and the United States, but in all countries that consider and deﬁne themselves as developed.”
“There are people,” he said, “whose motivations are so powerful that with hardly a second thought they kick aside the barriers” and work to ﬁnd and implement catastrophic attacks on our critical infrastructures. “They could be well educated people,” he said, “familiar with the subject of nuclear and non-nuclear EMP. They may be engineers, craftsmen, experts in the civil use of explosives and detonators. They will certainly know full well that our economies, our services, and our homes are hungrier than ever for electricity.” Today, he went on, we can no longer assume that saboteurs will be restrained by concern for the human cost of their actions. “That’s no longer the case amongst potential saboteurs in 2011. Nor is it the position of the planners and strategists in rogue states. It’s not the position amongst terrorist groups ﬁnanced and sustained by rogue governments, renegade agencies, and wealthy patrons. I doubt also that it’s the position of some mainstream governments and corporations that may harbor malignant plans for furthering their own political and commercial interests.” In his ministerial roles, he said, “I knew from my long ministerial involvement in counter terrorism and intelligence and security that there are in all of our societies many dangerous individuals and groups.” The difference, he went on, between today’s groups and the potential saboteurs of the ‘80s is that, today, “these individuals and groups are immensely more sophisticated, and better equipped in terms of intelligence and communications... In 2011, we can only ignore at our peril the potential for hugely damaging mischief to be wrought in our societies and our economies by individuals and elements who may be living among us and who understand the continuing vulnerability of our electricity infrastructures and supply systems.” “A British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, once observed that most governments ﬁnd themselves having to respond, not to the commitments they made in their election manifestos, but as he put it, ‘to events, dear boy, events.’ Because of its centrality, in any advanced economy, I feel that our electricity generation and its supply infrastructure will ﬁnd it impossible to escape the kinds of events that force governments to take extraordinary actions. Indeed in the next decade, the very reputation of governments may be determined by their success or their failure in ensuring that the lights stay on.” “That’s why no government … can delay carrying out its duties, not merely to identify the threats to the continuing security of our electricity
supply systems, but also to ensure that adequate measures are taken to safeguard and strengthen that security.” Patrick Miller, CEO of EnergySec and Principal Investigator of DOE’s National Electric Sector Cybersecurity Organization Project, spoke about both cybersecurity threats to the power grid, and areas of overlap with EMP. The challenges posed by our increasingly vulnerable infrastructures, he pointed out, are growing fast. “As we move forward,” he said, “we have nothing but a digital landscape in front of us. Every single blip, every mountain, every hill, every valley will be digital.” And both the critical controllers of our infrastructures and the devices that could be used to attack them are shrinking in size, and growing in scope and impact. In short, “we’re putting more and more of our eggs in smaller and smaller baskets.” Vulnerability, he said, is growing due to both the explosive spread of digital control systems, and cascading impacts. “We have widespread connectivity of all these things, so not only are we using more and more technology, more and more of it is getting embedded deeper and deeper. We’re connecting it to everything.” The consequence – rapidly growing vulnerability. “These threats are certainly real,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it. My organization, we deal with the actual frontlines of this battle.” How does cyber relate to EMP? While Patrick Miller sees “a greater risk for widespread issues with EMP or even weaponized magnetic pulses,” cyber threats would be launched at the same time. “It [cyber] will be used as a force multiplier,” he said, “to make the problem far worse than you could have possibly imagined otherwise.” An enemy intent on bringing our infrastructures down would use both, together. “It comes along for the ride no matter what. It’s just part of the package.”
Honorable R. James Woolsey Jr., Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency and Chairman of Woolsey Partners, LLC, spoke of the nation’s EMP vulnerability to rogue states or trans-national terror groups. “We have 18 critical infrastructures in the United States: water, sewage, food, etc. All 17 of the others depend on electricity. If the grid goes down,” he said, “we are not back to 1970s pre-web, we’re back in the 1870s pre-electricity, and we don’t have enough plow horses or enough pump handles.” “We need to focus on a whole range of issues about the grid. One of them certainly is cyber security because beginning a decade plus ago … we transitioned a lot of our data systems into operating across the web.”
Summarizing the nation’s EMP risk, he said he sees the key issue as the vulnerability of the power grid. “The really tough thing about the grid … is that it is so central and has such a range of vulnerabilities.” As an example, he spoke of the 2003 blackout. “In August of 2003 a tree branch touched a power line in Cleveland … and some 80 gigawatts of power went ofﬂine, some of it for several days, 50 million Americans and Canadians without electricity.
“If the grid goes down, “The heart of the matter,” he continued, we are not back to 1970s “is that the Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah and Al Qaeda are a lot smarter pre-web, we’re back in than tree branches and power lines.” And the 1870s pre-electricity, the problem we face with a rogue nation and we don’t have like Iran acquiring a capability for nuclear enough plow horses or EMP, he said, is that we cannot count on enough pump handles.” the deterrent structures that have worked Honorable R. James Woolsey Jr., Former for decades among the major powers. “If CIA Director all of a sudden the east coast just goes dark because there was a ﬁshing boat off the east coast that launched something or some other part of the United States or Europe, we have a real problem in attribution and understanding what might be going on.” Speaking of missile defense, James Woolsey explained that, while this could change in the future, current missile defense systems could not engage a sea-launched, short range EMP attack. For example, a “Hezbollah crude ﬁshing boat carrying a scud, so-called scud-in-the-bucket threat.” In the near term, the other option “The possibility is to “build defenses into our grid,” he said.
“We have 18 critical infrastructures in the United States: water, sewage, food, etc. All 17 of the others depend on electricity.” Honorable R. James Woolsey Jr., Former CIA Director
Why is this urgent? “Iran,” he said, “is different. It’s a sophisticated country with sophisticated understanding of many aspects of technology.” Most intelligence agencies, he said, agree that Iran today is one to three years away from having a relatively primitive nuclear weapon. “That puts us,” he continued, “in a very difﬁcult situation.” And with Iran, he suggested, we cannot rely on mutual assured destruction. “Mutual assured destruction to Ahmadinejad is not a threat, but a beckoning call.”
of, within the next few years, the Iranian government being able to execute a scud-ina-bucket EMP shot … cannot responsibly be discounted by the leadership of the United States and the West.” Honorable R. James Woolsey Jr., Former CIA Director
Speaking at some length about the inﬂuence of radical religious thinkers on the Iranian government, he explained that the traditional strategic deterrence that worked well in a world of competing secular governments will not work with Iran.
“That world,” he said, “is gone. We’re now in the 21st century at odds with, perhaps at war with religiously rooted totalitarians. And that’s different. Under those circumstances the possibility of, within the next few years, the Iranian government being able to execute a scud-in-a-bucket EMP shot of the type I described simply cannot responsibly Once they [Iran] are be discounted by the leadership of the United a nuclear power … States and the West.” Responding to a question, James Woolsey summarized his major concerns. “The thing that worries me the most right now is that Iran appears to have a couple of bombs worth of light enriched uranium.” In practical terms, he explained, that means they have completed “about two-thirds or a little more of the work necessary to enrich to 90% for a weapon.”
you will have lots of countries getting
into the fuel cycle and enrichment, and I am afraid Iran will be a terrible gateway into a quite unpleasant world.” Honorable R. James Woolsey Jr.,
“Second – the design of the weapon itself, if Former CIA Director you’re talking about something pretty primitive, is not that hard, and is on the internet.” Iran, he said, is far enough along that within a year or two, “we could have … detonation of a simple weapon up in the northern deserts of Iran. If it has a mushroom cloud and some radiation and goes boom, they are a nuclear power. And once they are a nuclear power … you will have lots of countries getting into the fuel cycle and enrichment, and I am afraid Iran will be a terrible gateway into a quite unpleasant world.”
The Solution: Policies and Approaches Congressman Trent Franks chaired the fifth and final session for the first day of the summit, as panelists provided perspectives on the policies that will be needed to protect the power grid. Bill Bryan, DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary, began by summarizing DOE’s role, as a research and development agency dedicated to supporting and advancing security and resiliency of the energy system. DOE works to ﬁnd optimal, broadly based partnerships, he said, but there is a downside. “The downside,” he explained, “is that good partnerships take time, which is why sometimes you need something else.” “Electromagnetic disturbances,” Bill Bryan reiterated, “have potentially signiﬁcant impacts on the electric grid.” Given the many different types of equipment, testing will be needed to study different mitigation techniques. “We have to consider the various types, the brands, the ages, and the conﬁgurations of the equipment and do some required testing on the various scenarios that are out there,” he said. Mitigation also includes procedural steps, which in turn mean dependable space weather forecasting. “It’s clear,” he said, referring to earlier comments from Dr. Jane Lubchenco (NOAA Director) and Dr. Tom Bogdan (NOAA Space Center Director), “that there’s a need for better indication and warning.”
“If you’re a legislator, your solution is to legislate. If you’re a regulator, your solution is to regulate. If you’re a federal agency, your solution is to participate, or partnerships … But we’re not going to solve that problem unless we have a combination of all three.” Bill Bryan, DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary
Similarly, “regarding the recovery options, we have to consider the level of impact on the various systems.” This also means that “we have to consider cost of recovery,” he continued, referring to cost sharing as an option. The Deputy Assistant Secretary had praise for companies that have already begun looking at procedural changes that could offer some protection, and said he was “very encouraged that some companies are taking steps to retroﬁt their current systems.” He called for bringing these companies forward, to share their experiences. “Let’s get them in here,” he said. “Let’s learn what they’re doing. Let’s learn what works. Let’s learn what kind of language they would need that would help them continue to do that for the safety of the grid and the security of the grid.” DOE, he said, can help, offering Recovery Act funding as an example. “Through the Recovery Act, our ofﬁce received ﬁfty million dollars that we could apply to the states and cities to build reliability and resiliency plans in an all hazard environment.” He called for maintaining the momentum toward Congressional legislation, while ensuring the legislation adds value, and “we don’t tie anybody’s hands, that we don’t create bigger problems,” inadvertently creating unintended negative consequences. “No
legislation or regulation is perfect,” he said, “but we need to make it as good as we can.” Concluding, Bill Bryan called for inclusive solutions that arise from coordinated planning by the many different government stakeholders and industry, working together. “If you’re a legislator, your solution is to legislate. If you’re a regulator, your solution is to regulate. If you’re a federal agency, your solution is to participate, or partnerships. And you know, we’re not going to get there by any one of those by themselves. The threat is real. I think the likelihood of an attack as we’ve heard today is inevitable, not if but when. But we’re not going to solve that problem unless we have a combination of all three.”
FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur began by summarizing the work of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “FERC is an independent regulatory agency with ﬁve commissioners appointed by the President, conﬁrmed by the Senate. We have jurisdiction over interstate and wholesale electricity, “The 2004 EMP natural gas, and oil pipelines used Commission report in interstate commerce.” The authors wrote ‘if we get Commissioner pointed to two started we can really areas of FERC’s jurisdiction that tackle this problem in are relevant to electric infrastructure three years.’ So that security: Cost recovery, and reliability means if we had gotten standards. Most of the Commissioner’s focus was on beginning to think about speciﬁcs. “There are steps we can begin to take,” she said, “to begin to address the issues we heard about and make steady progress.”
started, we would have been done in 2007.” Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur
What are those steps? “There are really three categories of actions that I think we need to collectively address to take this forward,” she said. The ﬁrst category: Equipment solutions. The second: Preparation, planning and preventive actions, “such as training our control room operators what to do when you know a solar disturbance is coming.”
“This is a classic case where we can’t let perfection be the enemy of the good. We have to figure out some prudent steps to take and just start taking them so we can tackle this.” Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur
The third category: Supply chain preparation. “I really applaud the efforts of DOE to get more of the transformers made in this country.” The Commissioner also commented on work by Edison Electric Institute and NERC on spare transformer programs,
approved in 2006 by FERC. “That’s not the be-all and end-all,” she said. “We’re never going to have enough spares if we lose two-thirds of our system, but it’s a component of an overall strategy. And it’s an important component.” Referring to a full day FERC technical conference, Commissioner LaFleur said she was pleased to see a sense of cooperative effort to carry this subject forward. NERC, she said, has formed a Geomagnetic Disturbance Taskforce, as “Instead, in 2008, an one of the important new initiatives beginning to even fatter report came look at the space weather problem. Looking forward, the Commissioner spoke about the possibility of new legislation addressing electromagnetic infrastructure vulnerability. “If Congress chooses to give FERC more authority in the Shield Act, or in any other piece of legislation, particularly more authority over real-time threats which is a gap in our legislation now, I can assure you that we would use that authority conscientiously and vigorously. But in the meantime, we’re not waiting. We’re trying to use the authority we have under the Federal Power Act to work with NERC and the industry to get these codes and standards in place, get the drills started, and just start to take this forward.”
out, the final report of the commission, and then last fall FERC and DOE and DHS issued a 900 page report on this. We’re done with the studies. We have to start taking action, so we won’t be sitting here three years from now saying if we’d started we could have done something in three years.” Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur
The Commissioner concluded with a pointed reference to the need to get started. The authors of the 2004 EMP Commission Report wrote ‘if we get started we can really tackle this problem in three years.’ So that means if we had gotten started, we would have been done in 2007. Instead, in 2008, an even fatter report came out, the ﬁnal report of the commission, and then last fall FERC and DOE and DHS issued a 900 page report on this. We’ve done with the studies. We have to start taking action, so we won’t be sitting here three years from now saying if we’d started we could have done something in three years. This is a classic case where we can’t let perfection be the enemy of the good. We have to ﬁgure out some prudent steps to take and just start taking them so we can tackle this.”
The third speaker on the panel was Joe McClelland, Director of the Office of Electric Reliability at the Federal Regulatory Commission. Joe McClelland began his remarks with a reference to the 20092010 FERC-initiated study on severe electromagnetic threats to the power grid and energy sector. The study, run by Oak Ridge National Laboratory for FERC, DOE and DHS and monitored by DOD and the White House OSTP, looked at the vulnerabilities of the bulk power system: “What lines were most susceptible and what pieces “The loss of these of equipment on those lines were most transformers would susceptible to failure? And this was not just affect 130 million natural but also manmade EMP.”
people. They would
“The results of this study,” the Director said, be out of power … the “were sobering.” He referred to a study estimate would be projection of what the impact would be, four to 10 years.” today, of a repeat of the 1921 geomagnetic storm. “If the storm were centered over Joe McClelland, Director, FERC Winnipeg, Manitoba, over 300 high voltage bulk power system transformers would be susceptible to damage or failure. To put that in perspective, … the loss of these transformers would affect 130 million people. They would be out of power.” How long? “A loss of this magnitude would overwhelm the supply chain. But even if one could get around the supply chain issues, the estimate would be four to 10 years to completely restore these transformers. And that’s not an exaggeration. In fact, from my personal perspective, I ﬁnd it to be optimistic.” This study estimate is not, the Director warned, an exaggeration. In fact, “if the event were centered a little further south … over 1,000 transformers would be at risk for failure.” How does it happen? Joe McClelland provided a functional description of the risk to the grid from a severe geomagnetic storm. “There are set points on the bulk power system. Load and generation must be in balance.” If transformers fail, the generators they serve will not be able to feed their power into the grid. “What happens on the bulk power system in a grid … when the loss of generation occurs?” If enough generation is lost, he explained, “we could have grid collapse, and that grid collapse could last for a very long period of time.” Repeating a warning heard from the earlier speakers, he pointed out that “Either a manmade or a natural EMP event is going to happen. And when it does happen, if the countries are unprepared … the restoration of services [could] take so long, it could be civilization altering or even civilization ending.” What are the solutions?
“Either a manmade or a natural EMP event is going to happen. And when it does happen, if the countries are unprepared … the restoration of services [could] take so long, it could be civilization altering or even civilization ending.” Joe McClelland, Director, FERC Office of Electric Reliability
“On that basis, there are steps that we can put into place and
we need to move quickly to put into place. Commissioner LaFleur said that the time for studying is nearing an end or maybe at its end. And I agree. There have been many studies. Studies seem to converge. We’ve had some peer comments, good peer comments on the work that we’ve done, but they don’t substantively change the fundamental conclusions.” The Director spoke of using a tiered mitigation approach. “Pick out the most critical bulk power system elements, let’s begin with mitigation on those, and move out in concentric circles to less and less important elements. And it can be done on the basis that I’ve got to maintain service to these key military facilities,” or selected large urban areas. Sensitive elements of the grid can be rated, [What should be done he said, with prioritized protection which could include now?] both “proactive and reactive mitigation strategies.” Commercially available or prototype mitigation hardware “Pick out the most critical can be tested, followed by deﬁning deployment plans and bulk power system timelines. “Begin staging implementation. Again, based elements, let’s begin with on what are the most critical elements to assure continuity mitigation on those, and of service for important load centers.” Finally, Joe McClelland offered an opinion on why industry has not yet acted. “Part of the problem is it’s got to be identiﬁed as a priority.” “Secondly, good development or good solutions need to be proposed and put into place,” with industry participating in developing effective solutions. “And lastly,” he said, “cost recovery must be assured.” Summing up, the Director concluded: solutions built, tested, and in place.”
“Let’s get the
move out in concentric circles to less and less important elements.”
Joe McClelland, Director, FERC Office of Electric Reliability
Wrapping up the panel, Avi Schnurr, Summit Coordinator and CEO and Chairman of the EIS Council spoke about strategies for reaching solutions. “I think there’s always a danger when we talk about actually starting down a solution path,” he warned. “And the danger is that different people will always have different ideas about the direction that path should take.” The alternative, however, is inaction. “If we can just sit and comfortably talk about how bad the problem is, we can all agree it’s a horrible problem. There will be no disagreement. But I think it is time, and we do have to take the risk.” It is important not to lose sight of our critical objectives, he said, and lose momentum as we consider diverging details. What is the real fundamental issue here? “Our cities are not designed or constructed to allow them to support our lives and the lives of our society without massive amounts of electrical power.” Introducing the International Infrastructure Security Roadmap, Avi Schnurr described it as one possible framework for a plan, which maps out different, evolving paths. “Think of it,” he said, “as a path through a construction site. There are constantly going to be changes, the path will be moving and changing. But we have to start walking.” Deﬁning appropriate government and corporate milestones will be key, and it will be essential that both corporate and government stakeholders be involved in the process. There will also have to be ground rules. “First of all, such a plan has to be grounded in the agendas, the objectives of the United States government and allied governments. Secondly, such a plan certainly has to be founded on the best available science and technology. And thirdly, it’s just not going to be effective unless it is responsive to input that comes from the energy industry.” “And ﬁnally, I think there’s a government opportunity and that opportunity is to help deﬁne clear and common goals for protection, common across the entire energy industry and energy spectrum. But doing it in such a way that the regulatory and legislative process is transparent and reﬂects industry initiative.” Avi Schnurr ended his remarks by summarizing some of key elements of the draft roadmap. Any successful process, he said, will need to be based on well-deﬁned benchmarks, with detailed, interactive milestones. It will need to include a toolbox with a full set of tools: automated protection, optimized procedures, spares and recovery planning will all play a role. It will need to have international applicability, and work toward clear objectives. “The required end state that’s recommended here,” he said, “is an electric grid which is highly resilient to severe space weather and EMP.” Concluding, he called for maintaining the momentum and the focus that will be needed to resolve these risks. “I think it will happen,” he said, “if all of us here today can maintain that focus and keep in mind the critical goal: “We must secure our critical infrastructures.”
“Think of it [the International Infrastructure Security Roadmap] as a path through a construction site. There are constantly going to be changes, the path will be moving and changing. But we have to start walking.” Avi Schnurr, EIS Summit Coordinator
EISS Roundtable April 12, 2011 The Capitol Building, United States Congress
On the 2nd day of the summit, a special industry / government roundtable took place in the U.S. Capitol Building. A review of the natural and malicious electromagnetic threat summary was provided by Commissioner Robert Hermann and John Kappenman, followed by a reprise of government perspectives by Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and Congressman Trent Franks, FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur and FERC Ofﬁce of Electric Reliability Director Joe McClelland, Patrick Wilging from DOE, Miles Keogh, NARUC Director of Grants and Research and Southern Carolina Public Service Commissioner Elizabeth (Liz) Fleming, with Michael Rutter representing the United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change as Head of Energy Resilience. The government speakers used the opportunity to go into more detail on their perspectives on the issues, and to provide more time for interaction. Congressman Franks, setting the tone, said that “in all of human history, the story is that a few people sometimes get together and make all the difference.” Referring to his work on the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, he said, “I get to hear a lot of scary stuff,” with regular brieﬁngs on global security risks. “But this,” he said, “is the one that frightens me the most.” He also spoke of the Shield Act, as one possible option for legislative leadership to address this issue. Chris Beck, Chief Science Adviser for the House Homeland Security Committee, talked about the legislative status, and also focused on the importance of taking even tentative, initial steps toward mitigating these problems. “If we have a complete blackout, if everything goes down and we really do need to black start the United States, that’s really bad. But if there’s a core, if there are some key components that are still operating somewhere, then a bootstrapping process is possible.” “That changes the game,” he said. FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur spoke about the need to begin taking practical steps to resolving these risks. “[From] everything I’ve read, everything I’ve heard this isn’t witchcraft. There are only a few kinds of simple solution sets that we can look to, to help prepare for any of these threats.”
From Left: Rep. Trent Franks, Chris Beck
What is FERC’s role? “What FERC can do is ﬁrst of all help get this paid for,” she said. “Secondly is the more direct responsibility for the reliability standards.” Also, she added, “under our existing authority, as Section 215, we’ve got plenty of authority to get started on this.” “There can be What should be done? The Commissioner argued for getting started on practical steps. “There can be inﬁnite reason[s] to always have one more piece of data. At some point we have to say we’re going to start.” “This,” she said, “is the time, time to start.”
infinite reason[s] to always have one more piece of data. At some point we have to say we’re going to start.” “This is the time, time to start.”
Joe McClelland began his remarks with a global, historic perspective. “Whether from manmade or from natural causes, this FERC Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur is going to happen. It is inevitable. It will be big. And if it is big … the consequences would be devastating to any civilization that endures the event but hasn’t prepared. History will judge us for how we proceed from here.” Joe McClelland spoke in some detail about the grid’s evolution toward greater vulnerability, such as the move away from EMP-protected electromechanical relays to today’s sensitive digital relays, and the coming Smart Grid changes. He concluded by concurring with Commissioner LaFleur’s assessment about the balance between study and action. “I will echo Commissioner LeFleur’s comments that the time for research is ending. I think we have very good convergence on the conclusions of the study. Now it’s a matter of implementation.” Speaking for the Department of Energy, Patrick Wilging also called for moving forward. DOE’s focus, he said, can be summarized as four areas that will need to move forward: Hazard mitigation, alerts and warnings, awareness and education, and testing and evaluation. Commissioner Elizabeth (“Liz”) Fleming expressed her appreciation for the increasing attention and visibility being paid to this critical issue. “All of this is really bringing attention to this issue for state commissioners,” she said. Referring to her role as Chair of NARUC’s Critical Infrastructure Committee, the commissioner spoke of a number of traditional vulnerabilities the committee reviews. “Now,” she said, “we’re looking at these electromagnetic impulses that could really do harm to our grids.”
From Left: Patrick Wilging with Rep. Trent Franks, Commissioner Elizabeth Fleming, Deligates, Miles Keogh, Michael Rutter
One of the key issues, the Commissioner pointed out, is a history of poor communication of this issue. “Most people in that group [the Critical Infrastructure Committee] who actually are dealing with utilities on a day-to-day basis, this was all new information to them. And so it is something that we really need to get out there and get the message out.” What do the state regulatory commissions need? “What we need as regulators to help move this forward is a realistic risk picture. We need to have the facts. We need to understand the issue so that we can address it in a credible manner. We also need to have best practices for the utilities so that we know when they come before us what questions we need to be asking to make sure that what’s necessary is being done. And we need to have best practices for us as regulators. Are we doing what all that needs to be done, make sure that the right things are being accomplished?” Miles Keogh echoed Commissioner Fleming’s comments on the importance of the State Regulatory Commissions. “Understanding the issue for commissions is going to be the key to being effective at making prudent decisions,” he said. He also focused on priorities recommended by Joe McClelland as particularly important. “Those three points of Joe’s were exactly right on. Tier and prioritize, deﬁne the right actions, and then develop the right kinds of cost recovery structures.” Above all, he said, communication will be key. “We need to talk to each other about what our best practices are, what works.” Michael Rutter began by summarizing proactive policy decisions that have recently been made by the government of the United Kingdom. “In October last year, the U.K. government published its National Security Strategy.” Quoting historic American writer Wendell Phillips, he said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” This awareness is the foundation of the National Security Strategy, and the new document “identiﬁes the risk of a complete shutdown of the electricity network as something that we should be concerned about. And it explicitly recognizes the related risks from severe space weather.”
“[The United Kingdom’s new National Security Strategy] identifies the risk of a complete shutdown of the electricity network as something that we should be concerned about. And it explicitly recognizes the related risks from severe space weather.” Michael Rutter, Head of Energy Resilience, U.K. Dept. of Energy and Climate Change
“There’s a lot of work in progress in the U.K. to assess this risk and understand what it means to power grids and other technologies.” Michael Rutter also recalled signiﬁcant problems that have already occurred from moderate geomagnetic storms. “In 1989, signiﬁcant GIC effects were experienced in the U.K. including
sudden voltage reductions, overload, changes in power ﬂows, and standby generator stops. Transformers on the electricity transmission system suffered internal damage. Two transformers were damaged.” “Increasingly,” he explained, “there is concern that periods of extreme space weather albeit not experienced in recent decades could pose a potentially serious risk to electricity assets and networks. And over the past few years, we are aware that it appears that the Sun is undergoing a change of state and that future space weather conditions could be different to those experienced over the past 50 years. We also need to take that into account.” Finally, Michael Rutter went over a number of steps the government of the United Kingdom is taking to address these issues. Summarizing, he said: “So we do have a milestone driven plan that sets out what we will do to address the impact of severe space weather. This involves government working closely with industry and with economic regulators within the existing policy and regulatory framework to understand the risks and what needs to be done to mitigate them. “We’re not complacent,” he concluded. “We’re taking this forward quickly.” A special session at the Roundtable called for industry perspectives. Gerry Cauley, President and CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), was the first speaker. NERC, he said, began looking at severe space weather issues in 2010. “The potential impacts on reliability of the power system from a severe geomagnetic event were identiﬁed in a NERC report, High Impact Low Frequency Report that we published jointly with the Department of Energy in June of 2010.”
“From a power system perspective, the most well-known geomagnetic disturbance in North America occurred on March 13th and 14th, 1989. Among other impacts, the storm led to the collapse of the grid in Hydro Quebec.”
Although the 2010 report addresses both severe space weather and EMP, currently NERC has no plans to address EMP. “We’ve chosen to focus on geomagnetic disturbances more so than EMP at this time because the GMD risks are better understood and preventing EMP attacks in the homeland is at this time presumed Gerry Cauley, NERC President and CEO to be a responsibility of the government, not to say that that won’t change over time as we get clarity on information. But right now we think there’s the greatest beneﬁt by focusing on the known quantity of solar magnetic disturbances and we believe that there will be inherent beneﬁts in hardening and being prepared for solar magnetic disturbances to EMP events as well.”
From Left: Michael Rutter with Rep. Trent Franks, Gerry Cauley, Deligates
Gerry Cauley provided a perspective on the 1989 Geomagnetic Disturbance [GMD]. “From a power system perspective, the most well-known geomagnetic disturbance in North America occurred on March 13th and 14th, 1989. Among other impacts, the storm led to the collapse of the grid in Hydro Quebec, in the early morning hours of March 13th, 1989.” “The Earth’s magnetic ﬁeld experienced a large impulse along the U.S./Canadian border, and started a chain of events that only 92 seconds later resulted in the collapse of the Quebec power system.” Given the speed of the GMD, there was little time for human intervention. “The rapid manifestation of the storm and impacts to the Quebec grid did not allow operators sufﬁcient time to fully “This storm proved assess the situation or provide any meaningful response.” Although the grid was able to restart, he said, “there were two large step-up transformers that were damaged due to over-voltage conditions.” In addition, “there was also as we know, damage to equipment at a nuclear plant in New Jersey as a result of this event.” “This storm proved,” he said, “that individual transformers can be damaged from overheating, which results -- which can result in long-term outages of key transformers in the network.”
that individual transformers can be damaged from overheating, which results -- which can result in long-term outages of key transformers in the network.” Gerry Cauley, NERC President and CEO
What needs to be done? “While the electric sector made important improvements after the March ’89 storm, more work is needed to evaluate new protections and reliability considerations associated with future storms.” “The one thing I think that’s new and challenging with these three risks,” he explained, “the physical and cybersecurity and the geomagnetic, is the widespread nature of the potential impacts. Normally impacts of the risk we face are either local or regional in impact.” Gerry Cauley told the delegates that NERC has established a Geomagnetic Disturbance Taskforce, “charged with analyzing the impact upon the bulk power system from a severe geomagnetic disturbance and identifying mitigating actions that users, owners, and operators can take to ensure the reliability of the grid.” What is NERC’s vision? “For the long-term planning, we’re recommending improved modeling capabilities for static and dynamic simulations; review of relaying such as negative sequence current setting on transformers; assessing the inventory of vulnerable equipment both in operation and as spares; and system design improvements such as adding monitoring equipment and blocking resistors on transformers. These mitigating actions,” he
said, “will not eliminate the risk from a large solar storm but will place the system in a more protected posture.” “My deepest concern as CEO of NERC,” he concluded, “whether an event is caused by a solar storm or physical or cyber attack, is the situation in which there is widespread damage to equipment with long recovery times.” Echoing many other presenters, Gerry Cauley called for a collaborative process. “We need government and industry to work together to resolve the basic policy question regarding what level of equipment reserves are sufﬁcient to meet the expectations for national security and the wellbeing of our citizens. And how are these equipment reserves to be funded?” Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, welcoming the delegates to Capitol Hill, went on to comment briefly on Gerry Cauley’s presentation. “It gives me a bit more comfort to know that we are being forward leaning when it comes to geomagnetic force and to EMP because certainly in yesterday’s session, we learned of the value of doing so.” And it is important, she continued, to ﬁnd the answer to some of the questions Mr. Cauley raised. “Where will we ﬁnd the funding in a time of ﬁscal austerity to do what we know is important for something that is imminent? And how much risk are we willing to maintain in order to avoid applying that ﬁnancial support that we need to make sure that we can be as resilient and as prepared as possible?” John Houston, Vice President of CenterPoint Energy, said that CenterPoint has already taken significant steps to review their vulnerability, and look at protection measures for both EMP and Severe Space Weather. “We didn’t study every substation,” he said, “but we chose to study our control center and seven types of substations which we own, and to study each and every one of our extra high voltage transformers.” The results, he said, were mixed – and they now have a better deﬁned understanding of where protective measures will be needed. John Houston called for additional testing data on hardware protective measures like current blockers. “I don’t think we’re waiting for the perfect but I do think we’re waiting for the proven. And to that end, we don’t have the ability to test these devices unless I choose to install one and go ahead and lose my transformer.” He also suggested new approaches are needed to allow users to better interpret space weather warnings. What is needed, he said, are well-deﬁned approaches “so that when a [space weather] warning is coming forth it’s not a warning that something bad’s about
From Left: Rep. Yvette Clarke, John Houston with Rep. Trent Franks, Deligates, Mike Heyeck
to happen, it’s a warning that says we’re expecting a storm of the level of 1989 or we’re expecting one of the level halfway to 1921.” John Houston also suggested that, while the electric energy sector is a critical, vulnerable infrastructure, interactions with other infrastructures show that “we have a lot more work to do than the electric industry.” For example, “Houston,” he said, “produces 45% of the gasoline used in the United States. [In the In regard to the blackout in Houston from Hurricane Ike] we were getting calls from Hurricane Ike blackout the White House and from the DOE with regard to gasoline reﬁneries of Houston: “The that needed to be brought back with the power, and in addition, … largest pipelines in the largest pipelines in the world that provide gasoline all the way the world that provide to New York originate in Houston, Texas, and the ﬁrst two pumping gasoline all the way to facilities are electric driven. Talk about interdependencies.” A long New York originate in term blackout in Houston alone, he explained, could mean “the east Houston, Texas, and coast could run out of gasoline in … ﬁve days.” In another example of interdependency, Houston’s reﬁneries – which use large quantities of water – were also shut down due to power loss at the regional water supply facility, prompting emergency measures. Entergy, the company providing power to the water facility, “had gone completely black, so they had not only no distribution but no transmission, similar how they’d be in an EMP.”
the first two pumping facilities are electric driven. Talk about interdependencies ...” John Houston, Vice President, CenterPoint Electric
“I’m suggesting there’s interdependencies that we’re needing to think about and need that leadership, I think, from the folks here in Congress and possibly from the Executive Branch of the government, to assist in that thinking through the process.” Summing up, John Houston spoke positively about the energy industry’s resilience. But for EMP and Severe Space Weather, he said, “I don’t think we have the solutions. I think what we need is further support from the experts, from the Departments of Energy, from the regulators at FERC and from NERC. I think we can work this together and resolve these problems.”
Speaking next was Mike Heyeck, Senior Vice President of American Electric Power (AEP). “I agree 100% with what John Houston said, that industry is willing to do this,” he began. “It’s really a solvable problem.” “We are the largest transmission owner in the United States,” he continued, and pointed out that “AEP does own the highest voltage network in the country at 765 kV.” While most of
these transformers are nearing 40 years old, and will be replaced soon, “we do need more standards on the transformers,” he said, suggesting modeling help would be useful to help deﬁne some of the speciﬁcations that will be needed. Mike Heyeck also suggested stakeholders try to ensure grid changes for EMP or Space Weather protection will also provide other, synergistic beneﬁts. “What we do with protection systems will serve the reliability of the “If we invest $10 billion grid, every day, every moment of every day, so it doesn’t have to in the United States be just for the EMP event,” he said. He also asserted that, if handled properly, the cost of these changes should not be an issue. “If we invest 10 billion dollars in the United States today, and you socialize that across every meter, that’s only a postage stamp to an average customer per month. So it is a solvable problem. And it is not a funding issue. It’s really a time issue.” For example, in replacing high voltage transformers, “it takes about a year to get an outage -- to get a transformer out to replace it,” he explained.
today, and you socialize that across every meter, that’s only a postage stamp to an average customer per month. So it is a solvable problem. Mike Heyeck, Executive Vice President, AEP
However timing can, he pointed out, be made to work in our favor. “About one-third of the grid is at or near life. As we replace these assets, why don’t we replace them with capabilities that would withstand these events? And as the water treatment plant replaces its motor controls, the same thing. So we’ve got to make sure that if the grid’s sustainable, that those that plug into the grid are also sustainable.” What will all of this mean for the future? “Given all the constraints we have with respect to GMDs and EMPs, the EPA proposals and things like that, trying to ﬁgure our future out is going to be very much harder now than it was ﬁve years ago.”
The final two industry representatives were both from the United Kingdom. Chris Train, Director of Network Operations for the National Grid in the U.K., explained that the situation in the U.K. is somewhat different. As a result of damaged transformers in the 1989 geomagnetic storm, some hardware and procedural changes were made, including new GIC specs on transformers acquired after that event. In terms of procedural changes, “operating strategy becomes absolutely crucial.” “We have a document that sits within the control room environment so we know what we’re going to do. People have tested on that.” Space weather warning information “has still got a fair way to go,” he said, “but it is considerably better than it used to be.” How could it improve? “We want accurate and reliable predictions of Sun spots, particularly times of arrival,” he explained.
From Left: Ian Gladng, Rep. Yvette Clarke with Chris Train
Today, he told the delegates, following the ﬁrst EIS Summit in London in 2010, work has begun looking at vulnerability to a much more severe GMD than the 1989 storm. In this process, National Grid, he explained, works closely with the Department of Energy and Climate Change. “Working with our regulators, Michael who represents the Departments of Energy is quite crucial to us in terms of understanding that risk and developing the policy around that. But … once we get to a point of understanding whether there are any physical mitigations that we need to put in place, we will work with our economic regulator.” One key issue, he pointed out, is building motivation that these issues must be dealt with. “The problem with high impact events,” he said, “is that people aren’t interested in it until it has happened. Therefore we as the industry need a way of assessing that, without creating the alarm but getting that right level of prioritization of the actions.” Ironically, Chris Train pointed out, older technology hardware that has remained in the U.K. grid may also be helpful, such as electromechanical relays that were replaced, in the U.S., by much more EMP sensitive digital relays.
Ian Glading, Global Continuity, CIO, IBM Corporation, was the last industry speaker. “IBM’s interest in this topic is because obviously we have very, very large and complex IT systems, he explained, “running around an infrastructure not only in the U.S. but globally.” My function within IBM is working within the CIO division on IT risk management. I’m responsible for IT resiliency and continuity policy globally for IBM and compliance deviation sign off.” Regarding EMP and Severe Space Weather, “IBM is recognizing this [electromagnetic risk] is a valid fact.” In particular, he explained, IBM has begun to realize that EMP and Severe Space Weather can be a serious concern for a global company. “We realized that it’s got very, very serious implications and it goes on beyond normal disaster planning and continuity planning, because in this particular case the difference in the footprint is so much, much bigger.” “Whether it’s an EMP event occupying a large regional area,” or, similarly, with a severe GMD event, IBM’s global distribution of IT assets means the company would be affected. In fact, based on projected EMP and space weather footprints, IBM is already “We definitely believe beginning to reexamine their geographic planning for data and service “failover” backup planning. this is a global Among the many issues IBM is now looking at to address these risks, the human component is crucial. As another example, “telecommunications ability post-event: What’s actually going to be available for people to use and communicate about the event?” In summary, “we deﬁnitely believe this is a global problem,” he said. “It affects global enterprises and organizations like IBM. We are taking this very, very seriously.”
problem. It affects global enterprises and organizations like IBM. We are taking this very, very seriously.” Ian Glading, Global Continuity, CIO, IBM Corporation.
“Going forward from now on, we’re taking this on board as a credible threat,” he concluded. “An example of that is that we will be using geomagnetic storm as part of a scenario tool kit for a very large scale disaster recovery exercise that IBM’s going to do next year with some of its internal IT.”
General Discussion, and Closing Comments At the end of the summit, there was an opportunity for general discussion. Reviewing the day and a half of meetings, there were a number of important comments. Congresswoman Clarke said she now realizes that “the infrastructure I’ve been taking for granted for so long was built by a generation that preceded me, and its shelf life is basically expired.” Along with others, she tried also to focus on what the next steps should entail. We need to bring all available talent to identify the key interdependencies, she said. And not just local talent. “We’re talking a global phenomenon, and so the conversation cannot just be continental U.S.A.” The important question that must now be asked, she said, is “How do we get those conversations going in those regions of the world?” The key danger is that we might fail to increasingly talk and think about addressing this problem. “It’s the one thing that we don’t think of that becomes our ultimate vulnerability,” she concluded. Michael Rutter also took the opportunity to sum up where we are, and where we need to go. We are starting with a key asset, he pointed out: “a shared commitment amongst policy makers, amongst regulators, and amongst industry to understand this problem and do something about it.” In terms of what needs to be done – he pointed to two areas: “the need for better and earlier forecasting of severe weather, severe space weather events,” and the need to characterize interdependencies between critical national infrastructure sectors. “I don’t think we should be under any illusions about how difﬁcult these sorts of issues are to address, both within government and I think across sectors. It’s certainly something the U.K. government has really just started to try to get its head around. It’s not easy but it really is important and we need to think very seriously about that.” Finally, he said, “one of the critical matters is the resilience of transformers on the system.” We need to understand what the risk is at events worse than 1989, and what the solutions are.” Avi Schnurr, commenting on preparations for the 2012 summit, asked that industry executives begin thinking through what they will need to take concrete steps toward protection of their infrastructure. More generally, in line with several of the earlier speakers, he recommended delegates begin thinking through interdependencies – what standards need to be met by infrastructure components that plug into the grid?
Commissioner LaFleur used her wrap-up comments to suggest stakeholders look at EISS London 2012 as a milestone to review concrete accomplishments. “This has been a great couple of days,” she said, “and I think I agree with almost all the suggestions we’ve heard: the better forecasting, certainly the ﬁguring out how to spec new transformers. We’ve seen a tremendous investment in the grid right now, so we have an opportunity to at least start building the future grid in a better way.”
“I had two suggestions for the future,” she said. “One is I’d like to suggest that when we get together in London in March, everybody come prepared to talk about what they’ve done.” The Commissioner also called for greater participation by some of the other countries in attendance. Congressman Trent Franks, closing the summit, urged delegates to work toward a comprehensive goal, hardening the electric grid against the full set of electromagnetic threats: EMP, GMD and tactical EMP. “I’m certainly hoping that whatever we decide to do in terms of hardening, that we put aside any political differences.” “Whether it gets knocked out by nuclear blast or an intentional electromagnetic interference or GIC, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “It still goes out.”
EIS S U M M I T
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The 2nd EIS Summit took place April 11-12, 2011 in the Capitol Building, U.S. Congress, and the Fairmont, Washington D.C. For information, visit www.eissummit.com or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
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