posted on May, 28 2018 @ 11:34 AM
I watched this live. It's a rerun from a couple weeks back.
Peter Prye is pretty spot-on in a general sense, although there is a bit of fear-mongering mixed in. Airplanes would likely be severely damaged since
they are not magnetically shielded, but most cars would survive.
The damage from an EMP is magnetic induction in conductors, the same thing that causes electrical transformers to work. In a transformer, the magnetic
field is produced by input power, but in an EMP it would be produced by the external magnetic field. The damage comes from the fact that a changing
magnetic field across a conductor produces an induced current proportional to the derivative (rate of change) of the magnetic field. An EMP is, by
definition, a sudden high-powered pulse of electromagnetic energy with a tremendously high derivative.
In an EMP, unprotected wiring becomes a series of high-voltage batteries, quite capable of producing enough voltage to burn out sensitive electronics
almost instantaneously. CMOS circuitry, the type used inside computers and most high-tech electronics, is primarily CMOS.
Those who don't care about the inner workings can skip this paragraph. Inside each transistor in CMOS circuitry is a capacitor that controls the flow
of current based on the applied voltage. A typical transistor can handle +/- 20 volts on that capacitor, no more. Any more and the capacitor
dielectric burns out, which turns the transistor into a resistor and starts allowing so much current through that it will typically reach temperatures
outside those it was designed to operate out very quickly. I have personally seen circuit boards overheat from a blown MOSFET to the point of melting
the solder off them within under a minute. Any voltage produced by unshielded wires can easily 'pop' a transistor, and once that happens it does not
revert to normal after the EMP passes.
Ferromagnetic shields work well, like car bodies and steel boxes used to contain components. Airplanes are more susceptible than cars because they are
primarily made of aluminum, not steel. Aluminum is electrically conductive, but not magnetically conductive; the magnetic wave passes right through
The electrical grid is especially sensitive because it is composed of long stretches of wires and there is really no way to prevent them from being
affected by a magnetic pulse. It's not the wires that are at risk; it is the transformers those wires are attached to. The extremely high voltages and
currents induced in a wire miles long can easily be quite capable of burning out a transformer. Electrical transformers are not an off-the-shelf item;
while most power companies have a couple sitting around, that is nothing compared to how many are operating.
Here's what I consider a likely scenario in case of a nuclear EMP:
Airlines would be immediately affected, as their control systems would fry in midair. I am not completely sure what precautions, if any, are built
into the computer I/O connections, but I would be surprised if, at the minimum, all automatic control was not lost. Perhaps a few would survive to
make an emergency landing at the hands of an experienced pilot able to fly without the instrumentation, but I expect many would simply fall from the
Automobiles would likely stop functioning during the attack, but most of their electronics would recover afterwards. Batteries would be in high
demand, since the EMP would likely drain batteries.
Household voltages would suddenly spike, to the level of perhaps a few thousand volts for a fraction of a second. Anything not surge protected, and
many things protected by lower-quality surge protectors, would be fried immediately. Even turning off a switch would not be sure protection;
electronic switches themselves would be damaged and mechanical switches could easily arc inside, supplying dangerous voltage to the components beyond.
I would estimate 75% of all televisions and computers would be gone within a few milliseconds.
Some homes with poor wiring would short out and likely ignite. We would probably see a sudden surge in house fires.
Electric motors, especially large, industrial electric motors, would likely survive. Their inherent inductance would act as a low-pass filter and
block the worst of the surge. They would all need new capacitors installed, because those would not survive. There would be nuclear accidents, but not
widespread among PWR reactors. The motors used to insert the control rods are usually shielded well, and the diesel generators would likely survive as
well. SCRAMs would be successful, but the plants would shut down due to main generators burning out.
Electrical power would be gone. The sudden surge would either destroy or trip every breaker in the system, and burn out most if not all transformers.
It could be years before power is restored, even in metropolitan areas. Government and military installations would have first choice on what
transformers were available after transformer manufacturing plants. Transformer availability would be severely limited in the US, because most
transformers are manufactured overseas and those countries will want their transformers for themselves.
People would be forced to live without light, without the ability to cook, and often without heat or cooling. Communication would stop. Transportation
would be severely limited, as gasoline supplies would be interrupted (pumps require electricity). A few people would have generators that survived,
but those would be completely insufficient to power the grid, or even a semblance of it.
The first thing to happen would be rioting. In April of 2011, tornadoes took out the power plants in this area. While rural areas managed to survive
fairly well for the week or so there was no power, the cities were rioting. Brutal fights among people trying to pump gas from the few service
stations that were still operating on generators caused the stations to close. Stores were simply abandoned until power could be restored, and even
then purchases were limited to cash because there was no power to verify card purchases.
Starvation would be next. Frozen foods would quickly thaw and spoil. Since fuel would be so limited, truck deliveries would be cancelled. Stores with
enough power to operate at all would see empty shelves within hours. With no way to preserve foodstuffs, people would be limited to eating foods which
are pre-preserved, and those are very limited. Fresh milk, meats, produce, dairy... all of these would quickly become unobtainable luxuries.
Gang activity in the cities would explode. With little food and no money, people would quickly band together to take what they needed, or join those
already banded together. People would be killed over a meal or a car with some gas in the tank.
Depending on the time of year and location, exposure would claim more lives. Gas heat would still be available initially, but would quickly become
exhausted. Once gas heat ran out, we would see a major rise in deaths from freezing.
Let's face it; as a society, we are tremendously dependent on ready access to products and on electricity. Take away those advantages, and most simply
do not have the ability to survive. Those that do will face waves of people escaping the cities and looking to take whatever they can to survive
themselves. Law enforcement will become a thing of the past, as it requires transportation and support that will no longer be available.