Massive Drill Planned to Test Resiliency of U.S. Electric Grid

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 21, 2013, 10:02 a.m.

A massive ex­er­cise is planned for Novem­ber that aims to test the re­si­li­ency of the U.S. power grid to with­stand ma­jor dam­age caused by a nat­ur­al dis­aster or de­lib­er­ate at­tack, the New York Times re­por­ted.

Thou­sands of people are pre­par­ing for the drill, in­clud­ing U.S, Mex­ic­an and Ca­na­dian gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials. They are join­ing busi­ness lead­ers, U.S. Na­tion­al Guard of­ficers, coun­terter­ror­ism spe­cial­ists and util­ity per­son­nel to tee up the ex­er­cise, which will im­it­ate kin­et­ic strikes and com­puter as­saults that could shut down large swaths of the elec­tric­al net­work.

In ex­cess of 150 en­tit­ies have agreed to take part in the sim­u­lated event, called “Gri­dEx 2.”

Fears about the pos­sible det­on­a­tion of a nuc­le­ar war­head in the skies above the United States, for the pur­poses of cre­at­ing an elec­tro­mag­net­ic pulse aimed at sizz­ling elec­tron­ics on the ground, have led a num­ber of pub­lic fig­ures to call for sig­ni­fic­ant steps to strengthen the power grid. Ex-CIA head R. James Wool­sey is plan­ning a cam­paign to con­vince state gov­ern­ments to pass laws re­quir­ing util­it­ies to harden their elec­tron­ics against po­ten­tial EMP at­tacks.

A key ob­ject­ive of Gri­dEx 2 is to learn how gov­ern­ments would handle a loss of elec­tric­al power that is large enough to drastic­ally af­fect the de­liv­ery of com­mon and es­sen­tial goods and ser­vices.

Gov­ern­ment and util­ity com­pan­ies have dis­cussed in re­cent years how chal­len­ging it can be to pro­tect the power grid, which is in­volved in nearly all as­pects of mod­ern life. It is man­aged in large part by a patch­work of re­gion­al and city au­thor­it­ies and privately owned firms.

Some util­ity-sec­tor of­fi­cials blame the gov­ern­ment for not shar­ing in­tel­li­gence about threats to the power grid. In re­sponse, gov­ern­ment lead­ers have re­com­men­ded that some util­ity heads ap­ply for se­cur­ity clear­ances that would al­low them ac­cess to clas­si­fied in­form­a­tion.

What We're Following See More »
INTERCEPT IN MIDDLE EAST
Navy Calls Iranian Ships’ Actions Dangerous, Unprofessional
18 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"Four Iranian ships made reckless maneuvers close to a U.S. warship this week, the Pentagon said Thursday, in an incident that officials said could have led to dangerous escalation." The four Iranian vessels engaged in a "high-speed intercept" of a U.S. destroyer in the Strait of Hormuz. A Navy spokesman said the Iranina actions "created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation including additional defensive measures" by the destroyer.

Source:
$300 SAVINGS CARD
Under Pressure, EpiPen Maker Drops Prices
26 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Amid public outcry and the threat of investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mylan has agreed to effectively drop the price of EpiPens. "The company, which did not lower the drug's list price, said it would reduce the patient cost of EpiPen through the use of a savings card, which will cover up to $300 of EpiPen 2-Pak."

Source:
AN ENGLISHMAN IN MISSISSIPPI
Nigel Farage: Trump Can Beat Polls
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Nigel Farage, who led the Brexit effort in the United Kingdom, appeared at a Trump rally in Mississippi yesterday. Farage told the 15,000-strong crowd: "Remember, anything is possible if enough decent people are prepared to stand up against the establishment."

Source:
MOB RULE?
Trump on Immigration: ‘I Don’t Know, You Tell Me’
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”

Source:
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
×