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The EMP device's somewhat sophisticated mix of mechanical and electronics make it harder to design but feasible. Estimates are from 6 months to two years. Cost is estimated to around $1000 for a small prototype to up to $10,000 for a large production line device effective over several miles.
The major electronic effect, the pulse, has so much energy that it is highly dangerous to sensitive electronic equipment. Effected the most are semiconductor based devices - computer chips. While certain physical and electrical designs mitigate dramatically the effects of an EMP pulse, protecting against it is quite expensive for each chip. As a result, few electronic devices in commercial use would survive a large EMP. The effects to electronic devices vary from reduced power in radio transmitters or low sensitivity in receivers, to total catastrophic failure of electronic devices such as vehicle ignition systems, computer controls, or communications equipment.
. Thus a device could be one foot across and take out very localized equipment, say a control facility or communications system. A device four or five feet across could be used to take out all communications at an airport or from a skyscraper take out the semiconductor devices for several miles in a swath extending out in all unshielded directions.
Today EMP devices are technologically feasible weapons to manufacture. Except for the difficulty for the average person to obtain the actual design specifications, the weapons can be constructed with materials available to governments and individuals alike. Through low level black market contacts this type of weapon could already be available to terrorists -- for instance the same dealers who sell terrorists their guns probably would be able to find someone to sell them the explosives and electronic components for the manufacture of an EMP weapon. And of course in some cases explosives are already in the arsenals of most terrorist groups. With nations like Iraq, Iran and possibly Libya, Syria, Lebanon, and North Korea who have terrorist connections, the opportunity for both explosive and electronic compoent sales to terrorists is at an all time high. Full up, ready to deploy weapons may find their way to the clandestine weapons market at any time.
U.S. Director of Central Intelligence Tenet reported to Congress after 9/11 that while there is no conclusive proof any nation or terrorist group has created an EMP weapon, however there is also an alarming absence of proof that the devices have not been in production.. Reports out of Asia indicate that at least one country, India, has been building such a weapon, "for peaceful purposes" in order to study its effects and perhaps to build safeguards against it.