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Electric Grid Recovery after an EMP Attack or Solar Superstorm

A Summary of the US Dept. of Energy Report (below) on Large Power Transformers (LPT's)

by Maxine Raymor

How long will it take to fix the grid after an EMP Attack or Solar Superstorm?  
Below is a report from the US Dept. of Energy. It is long and hard to digest but it does answer the question in an obscure way. Basically it says that the US electric grid has some very important components called large power transformers (LPT's). Each LPT is two or three stories high, costs millions of dollars and weighs between 200,000 and 400,000 pounds. You've got to have these things to run the grid.
After an EMP Bomb or a Solar Superstorm, these LPT's would be completely destroyed and the entire US electric grid would go down until they are replaced, along with a whole bunch of smaller tranformers and other equipment. The LPT replacements would have to be negotiated, built, paid for, shipped across oceans and then moved across land to various power companies across the American continent. The report says it would take two years or more to build just one and that's after a series of complicated negotiations about the price.
These are gigantic machines that use huge amounts of expensive materials like electrical steel & copper wirings and every one of them is custom made. The prices on steel and copper commodities are always volatile, but after the American grid goes down all the vultures will be circling to get rich from the American disaster. Prices in the millions today may hit a billion for just one LPT. Then, after a large power transformer is finally built and shipped to a US port, the government would have to come up with a huge vehicle to move each LPT from the coast to the permanent site inland.
After reading the report below, I estimate that recovery of the electric grid after an EMP would take five years or more
That's five years without a refrigerator, air conditioning or the Internet.
There will be no electricity whatsoever and the government won't be able to fix it for years.
Gas pumps won't work, trucks won't bring food, the grocery stores will be empty and what little food you do have will be taken by a hungry, desperate person with a gun. 
Maybe because she just wants to feed her children.
How many of these huge LPT's are currently running the US grid?
The DOE report is unclear about how many LPT's are running the grid, but I heard once that there are 12 total LPT's across America. Rebuilding one of them would take 2 - 3 years after long, complicated negotiations. These negotiations alone would probably take a year, then the build, ship across the ocean, move it over land and install it. Replacing all 12 LPT's may take a decade just because of the price, which could easily hit a billion dollars each. 
The US government is already almost 20 trillion dollars in debt. When our enemies take out the American electric grid, it will instantly start a world wide depression. Where is the US government going to get 12 billion dollars to buy LPT's when there are no corporations running and no taxes being paid? Not to mention the smaller transformers and all kinds of other equipment required to rebuild the grid. Maybe they will try to borrow the money, but who would lend billions of dollars to a non-functioning country with a mounting body count due to mass starvation? Our own government estimates that 90% of our population will die of starvation, disease and violence after an EMP bomb. How is the governemt going to get tax money to pay back even more debt? 
Let's say the gov could manage to find the money to buy a couple of LPT's and ship them across the ocean to restart, let's say, just California. To move an LPT across the land to a utility company, they would have to take apart bridges and re-assemble them, move traffic lights and electric wires on city streets and completely close down freeways for weeks. Nobody could pump any gas without electricity anyway, so our vehicles would be useless piles of metal parked permanently wherever they ran out of gas. They would have to move a whole lot of abandoned vehicles out of the way, mile after mile.
Picture the Space Shuttle at 165,000 pounds and then picture something much larger than that. Did you see that episode of Dirty Jobs where they moved a Space Shuttle? This is a much bigger problem because these monster transformers would have to be moved much further. Tow trucks would go ahead, moving dead cars aside. Then comes a huge vehicle moving foot-by-foot with the LPT on it (see photo). A tank truck full of gas would have to follow along behind to keep the whole operation fueled. 
Then months later when they finally get the LPT to the site, they would have to find people who are still alive and have the technical know-how to install an LPT.
Let's review the process:
  • The US government negotiates the price during a world wide depression (1 yr?)
  • Gov borrows the money (months? years?)
  • Some company, somewhere wins the gov contract and builds the custom made LPT (2-3 yrs)
  • Packs it on a container ship to cross the ocean
  • Once in a US mainland port, the gov transports the LPT across land foot-by-foot, towing away disabed cars along the way
  • Someone installs the LPT on site along with smaller transformers and other equipment
  • Repeat 11 more times.
Yup, we are looking at five years without electricity at the very least if a terrorist exploded an EMP Bomb high in the air over the USA. 

It's going to happen. Get it and get ready.

I believe an EMP bomb will  explode over the United States and take the grid out. I think it’s inevitable and many other sensible people agree. America has too many enemies and one of them will do it.

It may be a madman in North Korea or someone who speaks Chinese, a jihadist oil sultan or maybe an ambitious Russian, but it will happen. Let’s get that straight. Someone will take down the US electric grid. It's going to happen. Get it and get ready. 

It could happen today, tomorrow or next week. It could happen next month or next year. Maybe in five years… who knows? But it will definitely happen. The USA is a juicy piece of fully ripened fruit hanging low on the world’s tree and someone will pluck it – for the glory, for the fame or because they want the land.

Are you ready to live completely and utterly without electricity?

I urge you to get ready to live in an extreme off-grid situation with no electricity whatsoever for an extended period of time. Even solar power does not survive a strong EMP. Today you can learn extreme off-grid skills from huge numbers of videos on the web. To learn more:

  • Explore the topic gallery on this website and find other off-grid, prepping or survival websites. When you find a site, read a couple of blog posts before you judge. There are all kinds of preppers out there from extreme to the mild, common-sense stuff. We're the mild, sensible kind, but we keep our minds open for new information. 

  • Listen to The Survival Podcast with Jack Spirko. Again, keep your mind open, listen for a while and don't judge right away. He usually runs commercials & other stuff right at the beginning so it's OK to forward 10 minutes or so past those. 

  • Follow our blog and others like it.

  • Buy some seeds, put them in soil and start learning to grow your own food.

  • Check out our video gallery pages on Solar Superstorms & EMP's.

  • Join the Permies forums with Paul Wheaton.

  • Check out our Prepping pages. We searched the web and found the very best videos to get you started.

  • Find a Meetup group in your area. Look for homesteading, survival or prepping type Meetup groups. Chances are you will find nice people who will teach you which wild foods are edible when you hike in your area. They can help you get started with some practical prepping. Step on out, take a chance and find others who want to get ready for an EMP. 

  • Get Holly Deyo's book, Dare to Prepare.  This is one of the very best prepping / survival books out there. Here in our house, we have three sensible survival books packed and ready to go in case we have to evacuate suddenly. Dare to Prepare was the first. 
    Click the Amazon link to order...

  • Also read our book, Mountain Realm - due to hit Amazon this fallThis is a novel, an adventure story about life after an EMP. It's not gory or overly violent and it is not an apocalypse novel. It is about working together to overcome evil, defending as a group, then restarting a small community like a medieval village. It's about starting over, rebooting our society and making better decisions next time.

Bottom line, the grid will go down and for a long, long time. Learn everything you need to know to survive this thing. We have a tremendous opportunity right now while the Internet is still up. Read the report below, let it scare you, think hard about it and then learn the extreme off-grid skills you need. 

You may even develop a certain confidence, an assurance, a peace... when you know that you and your family can survive anything. 

- Maxine Raymor


And Finally, the US Dept. of Energy Report on Large Power Transformers

Just so you know this report below is not a hoax, here is a link to the report on the government website, if you prefer, same as the report embedded below:

The following pages in the report caught my interest:

Page 6: Executive Summary

Page 8: Introduction

Page 15: Large Power Transformer Procurement & Manufacturing

Page 35: Global Suppliers of Power Transformers

Page 37: Challenges in Global Sourcing

Page 38: Concluding Remarks

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