It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
"An attack on the nodes with the lowest loads can be a more effective way to destroy the electrical power grid of the western US due to cascading failures," Wang says. To minimise the risk, he says, the grid's operators should defend the west coast sections by adjusting their power capacity to ensure these specific conditions do not arise.
The US Department of Homeland Security is reviewing the research, says John Verrico, the department's technology spokesman, who adds that countermeasures are already in the works. "Our engineers are working on a self-limiting, high-temperature superconductor technology which would stop and prevent power surges generated anywhere in the system from spreading to other substations. Pilot tests in New York City may be ready as soon as 2010."
These precautions are well and good, but there are easier ways to bring a grid down, says Ian Fells, an expert in energy conversion at Newcastle University, UK. "A determined attacker would not fool around with the electricity inputs or whatever - they need only a bunch of guys with some Semtex to blow up the grid lines near a power station."
Good intentions aside, are they trying to plant ideas into peoples heads?