NASA Head: US Power Grid Is The ‘American Achilles Heel’

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by Harper, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    One of the main reasons for the new Space Force: a Grid Down scenario.

    I believe (can't prove) that we have had a dark military space program before NASA and that NASA was for public consumption--and that's a good thing.


    Source: https://dailycaller.com/2018/08/27/jim-bridenstine-space-force-power-grid/

    [​IMG]

    Trump NASA Head: US Power Grid Is The ‘American Achilles Heel’
    10:56 AM 08/27/2018
    Tim Pearce | Energy Reporter


    The U.S. Space Force is the answer to covering the “American Achilles Heel” and mitigating vulnerabilities in the United States’s power grid, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told the Washington Examiner.

    A GPS system operating through a network of satellites allows large institutions in the U.S., such as banking and energy, to coordinate their actions. In terms of power supply, the system allows power plants and microgrids to share power with one another, dispersing and bleeding power from parts of the grid that are holding too much energy. It also allows strained grids to purchase energy from elsewhere.

    The system of satellites that controls the GPS is a priority for the U.S. government to maintain and protect. If the system were interfered with or shut down, the kind of coordination grid managers have relied on to maintain stable energy supplies would be difficult.

    “We are dependent as a nation … on space to the point where our potential adversaries have called it the ‘American Achilles heel,'” Bridenstine told the Washington Examiner.

    Foreign adversaries are “developing capabilities to deny us access to space … to wreck those capabilities in space,” Bridenstine said. “And if they do, they could bring this country to its knees.” (RELATED: US Enemies Could Have Sabotaged Space Command Parts For Missile Warning Satellites: Pentagon Report)

    The Trump administration has ratcheted up efforts to determine new threats to the U.S. through cyber and power systems.

    Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced in February that his department was forming the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response (CESER). CESER’s goal is to study and increase U.S. cyber security and protect U.S. energy systems from attacks.

    “It’s in our national security interest to continue to protect these sources of energy and to deliver them around the world,” Perry said at a New York cybersecurity conference in early August. “Taking care of that infrastructure, from the standpoint of protecting it from cyberattacks — I don’t think it’s ever been more important than it is today.”

    Follow Tim Pearce on Twitter

     
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  2. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    That is an interesting take on the space program and honestly, one I had not thought of.

    I am sure there is even more to it than that. Thanks for sharing this article!
     
  3. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I wonder if he just figured that out? :rolleyes:
     
  4. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    No, I think/hope that we are going to finally see movement in protecting the grid.

    But it is going to take time and we remain vulnerable.
     
  5. OrdinarySpring

    OrdinarySpring Tracker

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    Sounds like a bit of a convolution to me. I don't think that the space force has anything to do with "the grid" in this context. This is the sort of thing that NASA is concerned with regarding our electrical infrastructure:
    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/nasa-helps-power-grids-weather-geomagnetic-storms

    This is the threat from space and it is something we can address on the ground with minimal assistance from NASA. There's just no political will to attend to a preventative measure. In the following report, it is estimated that preventative measures could be paid for with a one-time $250-500 million investment ("easily be funded through a one-time surcharge of $5 or less per household electricity bill"):
    http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/1030804.pdf

    Space force just consolidates space-related activities. Say two branches of the military want some functionality out of a proposed satellite. One has a budgetary overrun somewhere and as a result, has to withdraw from the project. The base cost of the satellite and the launch doesn't get any smaller so you're paying more per capability realized. It's not about space warriors, space missiles, or anything so fantastical. It just brings efficiency to the existing bureaucracy of all things space and military.

    In a time where, from the ground, we can eliminate any target on the planet within an hour, there's not much of a reason to first spend all of the resources to put an arsenal into space to then re-launch it back at Earth. Nor at other satellites for that matter. In orbit, fragments from an explosion are like a bunch of bullets flying around endlessly until they finally hit a target. The prospect this kind of outright destruction of a satellite can only become enticing to those who have no satellites.

    Attacks via software/firmware exploits is kind of its own territory.

    What would really round off the whole article is working in "the dark web" and perhaps some kind of biological threat. It's just not quite sprawling enough. Concern about our electrical grid and satellites are important enough without convolving the two into a single issue.
     
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  6. TrespassersWilliam

    TrespassersWilliam Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    So, it's shuffling the accounting books around?

    Congress is pushing for space-based missile defense. This article mentions why it might be a bad idea:

    Part 1:
    https://allthingsnuclear.org/dwright/24-space-based-interceptors

    Part 2:
    https://allthingsnuclear.org/dwright/comments-on-ida-study
     
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  7. Chris keating

    Chris keating Supporter Supporter

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    Unfortunate.y it is our Achilles heel. My opinion is this is why Elon musks battery will never go public. They will never put 5he technology to make a portable emp In Anyone’s hands...
     
  8. Ninety0ne

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    Its a dumb article written for and by non-technical people to get clicks, there's direct network links to cesium clocks in the event of GPS failure or timing slips at a strong enough density across any developed country the entire premise of interrupting a low bandwidth and robust system like SCADA is foolish.
     
  9. ATsawyer

    ATsawyer Scout

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    Daily Caller. Consider the source.
     
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  10. Gary V

    Gary V Scout

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    I've worked in power plants as a contractor and have a pretty good understanding on how they operate. I don't believe that we can't operate the grid without a GPS. It would be less efficient and require more plant operators but I don't see why it would completely crap it's pants. I would be more concerned with malicious software and inside attacks.

    And... who made the head of NASA the expert on our power grid? This just sounds like scare mongering to promote funding for this "Space Force". Also please change that name so it doesn't sound like something from a 1920's Buck Rogers episode. It's embarrassing.
     
  11. Black5

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  12. Gary V

    Gary V Scout

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  13. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    well, convoluted or not, the grid is susceptible, whether it is gps or emp or cyber or something else.
     
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  14. OrdinarySpring

    OrdinarySpring Tracker

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    I don't mean that it's complicated or something similar. I really mean the strict definition of "convolved." The electrical grid and running GPS satellites have nothing to do with one another. They're literally off the grid. GPS satellites have solar panels to keep them running. They are transmitters of data. They do not receive any data. They simply emit a signal and your device (GPS receiver) collects those signals from several satellites and uses them to determine your position. Your GPS receiver does not send out any data to achieve this, by the way.

    The bottom line of what I had to say was you could talk about any number of these topics individually without erroneously mixing in other topics. There are threats to satellites. My understanding is that Russia has a program for developing high altitude jets with high powered lasers that are intended to point at adversarial satellites. I'm not sure whether the objective would be to destroy solar panels (neutralized by disabling power) or something else. But that's a legitimate threat which has nothing to do with the electrical grid, attacks over networks, EMPs, etc.
     
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  15. ArkansasFan

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    I LOVE the Trump presidency. I'm good with abolishing term limits for the guy.

    However, BIG HOWEVER, whenever I get surveys from his team or the GOP, I always make statements regarding our power grid. It needs to be improved and hardened as much as possible. It's inefficient and fragile. Aside from national security and "general customer service" imoriviimthe power grid would be another boost to the economy.
     
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  16. sidmand

    sidmand Supporter Supporter

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    Now, before I quote and reply, please note I have worked for a very large power utility for over a decade now, both in generating power and in transmitting power (albeit from the IT side). We get a LOT of training on general power stuff and how it works, and that article reads like total hogwash and propaganda for the most part. But I do kwo that there is a lot of TI related stuff that is susceptible to EMP, and if big enough would cause chain failure in the grid protection systems. But, in general, the grid is stronger than most people think, especially here in the southeast.

    um....no, no it doesn't. for one, the grid doesn't hold energy, that's not the way it works. power in the grid works more like a constantly running faucet, with plants and generators constantly being regulated to keep the right flow (as in frequency, as in watts) going into the stream to keep everything on that needs power at that time. GPS communication DOES (potentially) allow internet or other network communication to happen that could trigger switches and such to reroute the stream, and to allow enegy trading to happen to allow for transmission to be routed to stuff where frequecy drops, but there is a lot of sketchiness in that statement.

    totally agree. I've been in a couple plants, and quite frankly was amazed at how LOW TECH it was in a lot of ways, with a whole lot of analog equipment there to keep things running and generating. Now, an EMP would bring down parts of the switching and routing, and that would likely cause overloads and transmission failure. But, the plants would still be running, burning fuel and generating electricity, until they ran out of fuel to boil water. This is especially true of the coal plants, they are very low tech water boilers (comparatively speaking and compared to a nuke or a combined cycle generator).
     
  17. TrespassersWilliam

    TrespassersWilliam Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'm not a technical person and not familiar with SCADA...

    ...but 60khz might be going offline.


    https://www-voanews-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.voanews.com/amp/4554376.html?amp_js_v=a2&amp_gsa=1#amp_tf=From %1$s&ampshare=https://www.voanews.com/a/time-may-be-running-out-for-millions-of-clocks/4554376.html

    <<

    Some argue the terrestrial time signal have been rendered obsolete by the government’s Global Positioning System, whose satellites also transmit time signals, but users disagree, noting GPS devices must have an unobstructed view of a number of satellites in space to properly function.

    “Sixty kilohertz permeates in a way GPS can’t,” Sullivan told VOA, explaining that WWVB’s very low frequency signal can be received inside buildings and it is an important backup to GPS in case adversaries attempt to interfere with the satellite radio-navigation system.

    WWV and WWVH broadcast on a number of shortwave frequencies, meaning their signals can be received globally.

    >>
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
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  18. 1911srule

    1911srule Scout

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    For now just take my "smart" meter and give me my old one back. I wish I could just live off grid , they can have it.
     
  19. Haggis

    Haggis Guide

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    Wasn’t there another administration promoting some sort of Space Farce program in the ‘80’s? Something else to put money in the pockets of defense contractors, increase contributions to politicians, and save us all from smoke and mirrors...
     
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  20. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Supporter Supporter

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    What's the difference?

    I don't get alot of things . The rage over smartmeters is one. Everyone hates em .But no one explains to me why .

    Knowledge in tech stuff is my weakest link
     
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  21. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Their most basic function... they automatically send electrical usage to the provider for more accurate billing. Secondary, it tells the consumer how much they have used and they can adjust their usage if the feel so inclined for a lower bill.

    The people who tend to rage against them tend to be the same people who bitch about the dude who comes to read their meter every month also so it’s not like the provider can win. I’ll be the first to tell you that some meters are better than others and they all use about the same amount of electricity as a clock.
     
  22. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    I think the above quotes sum up my feelings on this.


    @Paul Foreman is correct.
    Whether NASA is fear mongering or not. An hour's read will tell you the Grid as we know it it under a huge strain and pretty sensitive.

    Infrastructure build-over has not kept pace with power demand. We just need to look a Cali or Texas during this hot summer to see that. Or the Northeast when we have extended sub-zero stretches. It's a delicate dance of supply and demand.

    The laughable part is that for all our striving to save energy. Energy Star Rated appliances, home energy inspections. We consume more power now than ever before.

    Are, or could EMPs or CMEs be an issue? Possibly.

    Will the Ruskies or the Chicoms attack our grid? Maybe.

    Could Long Duc Dong get lucky and actually hit the US with more than Hot Air? Perhaps.

    Me, I expect a major grid drop to arrive in the form of a cascading failure from lack of maintenance, outdated hardware, and demand out strippong supply. Wires are like pipes in a way. In that you can only shove so much juice through them.

    When you force more juice through them things get warm. When things get warm, electrons move faster. There are associated risks.

    I think @1911srule hits the nail square on the head.
    Sure Duck Dodgers and his Space Force would be cool. Or maybe a huge waste of money depending on your viewpint and love of Marvin.

    But truthfully, we here on BCUSA have about as much say over that, as we do in getting @Guy to send everyone a free Serchete. We can hope, and dream.

    Or we can take real, solid, quantifiable, action.
    We as a group, can't save the world.
    But we can certainly mitigate our own personal exposure to the grid and dependence on it.

    It's a journey. And no matter how long the journey. It must start with the first step. Don't wait for NASA, or Duck Dodgers to save you.

    Save Yourselves.
    You're Bushcrafters. Approach this like you are Bushcrafting.

    Start today. Draw ip a plan.
    Chunk it down into bite sized pieces
    Do what needs doing.

    Get yourselves and your families as ready as you can. It's pretty simple really. Man has existed for thousands of years. The Grid has only been around for roughly 125 in many areas less than that.

    Have we gotten that soft?
    Have we let thousands of years of evolution go the way of the Dodo for Cell Phones and Flat Screen Televisions?

    I know, I know.
    You folks are saying, "Ok Viking, but what if nothing happens?"

    That is the best part! Because realistically it may never happen.

    But you Mr. and Mrs. Bushcrafter.
    You will still be leading a more healthy, happy, and independent lifestyle if you get ready now.

    You will reduce overall strain on the grid.

    Your children will be more prepared, if it happens in their lifetime.

    You will do more as a family.

    You will save ton of $$$$ on therapy and prozac.

    Life is like Bushcrafting.
    It's about getting things done and doing them yourselves. Often time, simple is better.

    You don't go out into the woods and wait for someone to build you a lean-to.
    You don't stand by a fire pit and wait for someone else to come light your fire!

    If you don't expect someone to show up and do easy stuff for you.
    Why in the world, would you wait for someone to help you if a really big disaster happens?

    NASA? Seriously?
    They can't even do today, what they could do in 1969.

    Start your journey today!

    Or not, life is about choices.

    Say hi to Marvin for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  23. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    As far as hardware and upgrades states freezing rates for 4-5 years delayed a lot of infrastructure updating. The hardware rarly fails. However, lines that were built for 500 houses ended up servicing 1000 or more because of the housing boom. Also as far as the northeast, the loss of some power stations and not being able to tap into Canadian hydro power are the main power issues up here. Too many people living in small spaces. Southern NE and South east NY are some of the densest populated areas there are... and the power stations are going the way of the dodo up here.
     
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  24. Paulyseggs

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  25. TrespassersWilliam

    TrespassersWilliam Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    There is potentially more than that.

    Sending data over power lines is possible.
    (At one point there was a consumer-level home networking solution using the electrical in your home.)

    Power generation isn't as plentiful nor as cheap as during the time of nuclear plants. (Vermont Yankee is history and Seabrook is on it's way out with no planned replacements.)

    Smart appliances could conceivably be able to receive instructions to shut off during a high-demand period.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
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  26. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Would depend on the meter as to what functions it would possibly have. It’s easy enough to find out. I can tell you most of them have limited functionality. Utilities would not ever be able to turn off your stuff, hell they can barely turn off people’s power who don’t pay their bills for months. If you think Utilities have any sort of real power you are sorely mistaken. They are regulated on how they spend every cent of their money and don’t even set their own prices.
     
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  27. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    amen, vike ...
     
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  28. TrespassersWilliam

    TrespassersWilliam Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    The only sure thing is change. Laws change.

    None of this is going to happen tomorrow. It's more about thinking ahead.

    The urban planning types really get excited about counting the number of times you flush the toilet and open the refrigerator.

    It doesn't mean that they will have a say in influencing future regulations... but they might get their way if people aren't sober and watchful.

    I still remember the push to mandate low flow toilets that needed multiple flushes to sink feces.

    It remains difficult to purchase a wood stove that can be dampered down and burn through the night.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
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  29. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    States froze rates OK I get that.

    But if Power Companies are receiving incoming bill payments from 1000 customers instead of the 500 they planned on, and built for. They should still be doing OK.

    Just for the sake of Argument.
    I pulled up a chart of LIPA wages. Long Island Power Authority is certainly in a high cost of living area. But I was somewhat shocked at what I saw.
    https://projects.newsday.com/databases/long-island/lipa/

    Excerpt;
    Employees of the Long Island Power Authority made nearly $6.8 million in 2017, an increase of 22.8 percent from the year before, when they had two fewer employees. Average pay rose to $125,801.26, an 18.2 percent increase over the year before. Here are the details going back to 2011, based on information provided by LIPA in response to request under the Freedom of Information Law.



    Totally agree the concentration of people in the Coastal Northeast Region is insane. Some of the most densly populated real estate on the planet.

    The rules and regs, the bidding, the politics, the EIS studies, all conspire to slow the process of upgrading down to a sanils pace.

    ***I'm not placing blame. I don't really think it is any one entity's fault.
    I'm saying seek other options. Be proactive, don't be a victim.


    These issues are not unique to the Power Grid. Look at the urban transportation infrastructure of Urban New York City and it's surrounding populations. They are crumbling.

    Or worse yet, look at the Water Infrastructure that feeds NYC.

    The biggest problem with all of these isn't the engineering, or the construction. It's that it has always been easier to kick the can down the road.
     
  30. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    That would be the gooberment you need to fear not the utility. I’m just putting in perspective what actually can and does happen as it’s the sector I’m working in. There is a ton of bad info about “the grid” that floats about. I had a guy go on and on about all the electrics in the tin can on the pole (the transformer) just last week. It’s literally coils, a magnet, oil, and a fuse but if you talked to this public official you’d think it was made by the NSA.
     
  31. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    LIPA is not a true utility... it’s effed up down there. I’ve been offered a management position down there in the past and said hell no. LIPA is as corrupt as they come. It’s basically a government body with employees who contracts all the work to utilities but forces their employees on the contracted utility. When the contract ends they literally just slap a sticker on the truck for whatever dumb utility gets that next contract.
     
  32. OrdinarySpring

    OrdinarySpring Tracker

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    NASA isn't the one that's fear-mongering. It's the article if anyone. The article title attributes the "Achilles heel" comment about the grid to the head of NASA but he attributes it to "our potential adversaries" who are talking about our access to space. The article is just confused. Potentially on purpose, really.

    With respect to NASA being able to do what they could in 1969, consider the graph here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_NASA

    The data is cited to a Guardian article which retrieved it from the White House Office of Management and Budget. The general sentiment suggested by that kind of trend is "that was cool, but we're done with that kind of thing." More satellites in orbit also means more needs to be spent on maintenance, by the way!
     
  33. TrespassersWilliam

    TrespassersWilliam Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    <<

    For 50 days a year, New England has a gas problem – not enough natural gas is available to meet demand.
    In the winter of 2013-14 this problem led to dramatic spikes in the price of natural gas and the cost of
    electricity. How to solve that problem has been the source of political, economic and environmental
    debate over the past 2 years. One proposed solution is to “flood the market” with new gas via one or more
    new pipelines, with the multi-billion dollar cost to be borne by electric ratepayers. The other solution, one
    that the Conservation Law Foundation has promoted, is to maximize the use of existing infrastructure in
    both the delivery and storage of natural gas. This solution addresses the supply problem during that limited
    50 day period in the winter, saves industrial, commercial and residential customers millions of dollars and
    avoids the need for costly and enormously inefficient infrastructure that will ultimately undermine efforts
    to meet the challenge of climate change.
    >>

    Guess what is replacing nuclear power generation? LNG. Already at 50% electricity generation from LNG alone.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...FjAHegQIBBAB&usg=AOvVaw27a57ia7bOAlCcDxDTyIMX
     
  34. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Don’t forget all the failed wind power attempts, solar facilities shot down etc. people love green power until it’s produced locally. The problem is towns and cities want to sue the utilities because they are not getting enough gas to meet wanted demand and expansion the town want. Utilities have been warning about this for over 20 years. It being a political hot topic means little ever got done to fix the issue. The utility I work for hasn’t run new gas lines in towns to expand service in all the time I’ve been working for them. Basically has just been repair of existing infrastructure. Apparently large NG tanks would be a terrorist target and no one wants them in their towns... hell they periodically halt the NG shipments by boat and that facility and route has been under political attack for years.
     
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  35. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Guide

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    Texas is not part of the national grid. Not sure why but we run 3-4 smaller grids in Texas. At least we did about 15 years ago.
     
  36. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    National grid is kinda a misnomer. Mostly it’s small grids. Though they can run 2-3 small states on a few transmission right of ways and power sources they are not interconnected like people think.
     
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  37. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    When we lived in the mountains power went off at random especially in the winter with snows and such.
    Power companies do not compensate for damages due to their failures, and when we were investing in our first computer the first thing I did was to make my own UPS .//first purchase was a gell cell battery, knowing almost nothing about solar or computers for that matter I understood a little about battery systems and having a battery in the house.
    With freezing temperatures I knew not to have it out side unprotected .
    Second purchase was the inverter to run the computer monitor and printer on.
    I used my battery charger to maintain the battery.
    Then we got the computer . a 286 if I remember right.
    Later in life I picked up a solar panel and let that supplement the battery charger ,not even near stand alone yet. My property had a lot of trees so getting sufficient sun was out of the question but I made use of what I could get . but as time went by I picked up used panels and set them aside for the future.
    In the mean time I ran other wire through the house for DC lighting which was minimal due to automotive lighting was all that was available cheaply. Florescent DC was available but expensive.
    Building my shop trailer I made a place for a battery bank below deck, and a switch panel for controlling the system solar panels are mounted on top. this paid off big when having to move .
    Every place we moves to I strung wire and DC lights and saved a bundle on my electric bill.
    If you are serious about getting off grid take a lesson.
    Start some where and build to grow , the solar panels can come later.
    If you plan to do it , do it stop procrastinating . you need to learn any way and the technology basically is unchanged . but with trade wars going on the price of materials may ,
     
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  38. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Not to be a pain but, turn off your breaker during a power outage and unplug your computer... that eliminates most power surge issues... or just get a good power surge protector... mine basically is good up to lighting strikes. The thing about power outages is they are almost never the power companies fault. Morons taking out poles while driving/crashing, peoples trees coming down on lines etc is the cause 99.95% of the time. Power Co is not driving the vehicle that drops the pole nor do they own the trees. In most places the power co has zero right to remove a tree that poses a hazard and has to ask permission. in Most of New England they technically are allowed to TRIM 10ft above, 10 ft below, and about 5 ft to the side of the lines but people are even allowed to opt out of that. Hell even in places where utilities have the right if a customer complains the regulators and politicians will jump in and the work doesnt get done... the more you know.

    [​IMG]
     
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  39. Gary V

    Gary V Scout

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    Having transmission lines above ground invites all sorts of failures. If they were hurried and in metal conduit they would be protected even from EMPs. No one wants to pay the costs though. Living under the threat of outages is preferable apparently.
     
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  40. 1911srule

    1911srule Scout

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    Smart meters have been responsible for many house fires. Thats my concern. I hope they worked the bugs out by now. There also not sure if its a health hazard compared to the old meters. Mines on the other side of the wall from our crapper. I spend alot of time their lol...
     
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  41. LostViking

    LostViking Supporter Supporter

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    ^^^This ladies and gentlemen is what I'm talking about^^^

    The blame game is not important. Do something, anything.

    If you are under water and can't breathe. It doesn't matter who's fault it is, or was. You need to get to the surface and save yourself.

    This whole Grid thing is the same. It doesn't matter that NASA has a 19 Billion dollar budget this year.

    You need to have yourself and your family at least partially ready. Whether it be a blizzard, a tornado, or a rogue Russian submarine.

    Buy a candle and start from there.
    When most of the population is out on the street corner saying,
    "We don't have any power"
    Does it really matter who's fault it was when it may not be back on for 2 or 3 years?
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
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  42. Gary V

    Gary V Scout

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    I had a smart meter on my house back in the late 80's. It was a "time of day" meter. The power company used it to bill at higher rates during peak hours. I installed a timer on my hot water heater to make it come on during off peak hours but every time we had a power outage the timer had to be reset. Regardless we always paid more for our power on average then if we had an analog meter. I wasn't very fond of it.
     
  43. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    1. Continuous radiation.
    2. Higher Bills.
    3. Control.

     
  44. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    If you slept on the thing like people basically do with cell phones then I'd worry. Microwaves are RF, are not shielded, and you dont hear people screaming about them. Satellite communication, Wifi, cell phones, Old analog TV, Radio, Police and Fire dept radios, Home Security systems, your TV Remote... I mean you can go on and on. Current theory is just take more antioxidants if your RF radiation levels are high because RF may cause increases free radical production which is how it's theorized to produce the upticks in cancer. I'd be more concerned with the possibility of cellular function changes than the cancer. Some studies how shown brain changes in function in people who use cell phones a lot. However, Microwaves have been around for a long long time though and we all arnt dead so I'll limit any real worry to after they manage to prove something concrete.


    You'd be looking at probably a trillion dollars just to bury the approx 200,000 miles of Transmission lines in the US., maybe another 5.5 Trillion to bury the distribution lines (they dont have to be as deep). You would have to not only give every utility the rights to vegetation management on peoples property (cant be having trees growing on top of buried lines... bad things happen trust me) but if they have to be upgraded in 15 years ( usually because a new subdivision or two go in on a line) then it has to be tore up all over again. Oh and if you live anywhere with earthquakes... you do not want buried lines... earthquakes and buried lines do not play well together just ask New Zealand.
     
  45. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    Your right about the cell phones. That is probably what McCain and Kennedy died from. They were both know to have the things glued to their ears. The new 5 G technology is supposed to be a lot worse--both the phones and the antennas (which will become ubiquitious). They say it takes under a minute to observe cellular changes in a cell exposed to cell phone radiation.

    Part of the problem with smartmeters is that there will be a one on every house, which will add a whole new layer on top of what is already out there. Then there are the issues of surveillance and control.
     
  46. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Just a comment on the vulnerability of the ‘grid’. Shortly after I moved out here, a raven decided to kill himself in a sub station near me. That one bird took out most of northern Nevada and southern Idaho.
    Think about what a dozen terrorists with battery sawzalls could do in a few minutes. It is a real threat and I really don’t understand why it hasn’t been used yet. Many of our wildfires are arson and that is another big drain on resources. Fire and grid damage? Scary really.
     
  47. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    ummm, no offense but there is no way a bird in a substation took out an entire transmission line. All right let me give everyone a quick synopsis of how a section of the grid works.

    Power Generation Station feeds the transmission lines, every so often they are fused. Multiple lines run down a transmission line so it's possible to pick up the slack of another line if it happens to go down if your system is built properly. The Transmission lines feed the substations which are all fused off and also contains an air brake or re-closure. The power is routed from the substation to multiple 3 phase Circuits all of which are fused periodically with fuses or re-closures. Any taps where they are 3 phase, single phase or 220 off this main line are fused off. You can literally break into a substation and piss on all the equipment, die, short out everything in a substation and only knock out a few decent sized towns at most on any decent system (someone did just that not a couple years ago). Our largest here feeds 6-7 towns because even though it's distribution it is technically a Sub-T line because no Transmission lines run east of that sub station. So if you lost entire portions of states something went wrong in the transmission corridor... usually a very tall tree or a contractor accidentally dropping a tree on one of the lines, this happens every few years up here... including I think this spring/early summer.

    Now if you want a good example of what a cascading cluster **** looks like just look to 2003 when when one of the largest sections of the grid (which is actually tied together) went down in the biggest cluster **** of human/computer error in history that left 8 states and part of Canada down. So Con ED decided not to keep their transmission ROW clean and proper and some trees were in what we call the danger zone... within approach of summer sag (metal expands in the heat). This set off a lovely fire which shut that line down. The computer system which the techs used to monitor that system should have kept everything from going dark but was turned off by a technician because they were debugging or repairing the program or something and he went to lunch. Due to Line 1 going out it "overloaded" the other lines causing a shutdown of those lines one by one. Only the relays were too sensitive and the lines were not actually overloaded at first but the systems started dropping the lines anyway. In response to this lovely screw up new laws and regulations were passed in 2005 to keep it from happening again and the equipment was better calibrated, sections of the grid were broken up further, lines are audited, plus about 100 other changes to the way business back then was done. At this point, unless someone seriously makes the mistake of the century or its done on purpose those kind of outages are practically impossible without severe weather or blatant neglect being responsible.

    Now, give some terrorists some chainsaws and time and sure they could knock out some lines... they would also most likely be dead from step potential. It would also be fixed in a matter of a few hours to a day unless they really hiked into the deep parts of the country where access is limited... even then at this point with the equipment at our disposal a few days is reasonable as long as a forest fire isnt started. Utilities have gotten really good at power restoration... fines in the millions of dollars tend to do that not to mention we've had plenty of practice due to weather. Now you want to talk nukes, or absolutely huge EMP's that would just cook everything, storms the scale of which is akin to Sandy, then yeah you've got some problems and you may be out of power a while... but you probably have some more serious issues to deal with while you're at it.
     
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  48. Gary V

    Gary V Scout

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    Yeah, I didn't say it was cheap but you didn't consider how much we would save each year on repairing our above ground grid. The savings would pay off eventually over a (long) period. Earthquakes? There are solutions.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
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  49. 1911srule

    1911srule Scout

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    Our potential enemies would be targeting our grid if God forbid things went hot. Not probable, but possible given whats going on in the world. This is a commercial run on Chinese state television. I can't understand the language but who are they planning on fighting?

     
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  50. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    Problem is the period of time. Especially in areas with a lot of building going on. I don’t disagree it has certain advantages but it has some major downfalls also.

    As an example; a town up here decided they wanted all the lines in the downtown area buried. We gave them the cost as well as what was needed to maintain those buried lines. All the line work was done... then the problems started. The town entirely ignored everything which was told to them about the maintenance. The no dig zone etc etc. needless to say they had to rip out trees and landscaping and hard scraping they did in their beautification project right after the lines were buried. Of course they lodged a complaint with regulators. At least nothing bad happened....

    Example 2, a couple years back a town went to put new water pipes into a neighborhood whose lines had been buried about 20 years before. Now these were private lines connected to a utility network. The neighborhood association owns the lines. No maintenance was ever done and as everything in NE goes the area where the lines were buried had reverted to forest. Because the right of way was not maintained by the line owner dig safe had no way to 100% accurately mark the area where the line was. Well, the line was not where they thought it was and the backhoe ended up pulling up the 14kV line and erupting in flames. The worker in the backhoe luckily was smart enough to bail and miraculously managed to not die.

    People do dumb things so even buried lines can go out.
     
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