Real News. Real Funny.

Comments

  • I remain convinced by the scientific/techie dudes that investing about $10 billion in our energy grid would give us an awesome return on investment, and allow them to put in modern safeguards to protect that grid.

    I really don't understand why we haven't done it yet. Sure, the act of paying for it and all the construction sucks and is not sexy, but the end result would be pretty hot!
  • Or they could bomb key intersections on the interstates, and fubar traffic and food deliveries for weeks. This is like that XKCD cartoon where the guy uses a pipewrench to bypass 4096 bit encryption.
  • I probably should warn you that there are a lot of things that COULD happen. For example, I should warn you that your neighbors could surround your house during the night with torches and burn it with you in it.
  • NewportBarGuy: I remain convinced by the scientific/techie dudes that investing about $10 billion in our energy grid would give us an awesome return on investment, and allow them to put in modern safeguards to protect that grid.

    I really don't understand why we haven't done it yet. Sure, the act of paying for it and all the construction sucks and is not sexy, but the end result would be pretty hot!


    I think one reason people are reluctant is that it is a lot harder to do than they think. Boulder, CO had Xcel try and do it. Now excel is trying to get another 15 million or so outta Boulder because they had some serious cost overruns. That being said it still needs to happen the power grid is the single most important thing in America. A nationwide blackout for any extended period would cause the world economy to collapse.
  • just go to fpl.com and then log in as root
    then click power off
  • NewportBarGuy: I remain convinced by the scientific/techie dudes that investing about $10 billion in our energy grid would give us an awesome return on investment, and allow them to put in modern safeguards to protect that grid.

    I really don't understand why we haven't done it yet. Sure, the act of paying for it and all the construction sucks and is not sexy, but the end result would be pretty hot!


    No doubt. But the lasting effects of a large scale physical attack on the right substations and/or transmission towers would not be helped much by such an investment. As the author of the article states, the chances of such an attack are slim, but the consequences would indeed be dire. And really all it would take would be knowledge of critical subs and lines and a fairly small amount of explosives. Or a dozen or so RPGs. Substation transformers are usually located outdoors due to the amount of heat then generate, and are too big to hide or protect. Transmission towers are what they are. You can't really do much to protect them.

    So as someone who manages and controls the grid for a large utility in Pennsylvania, I would applaud such an investment in the system. But it would not protect us from a coordinated, well planned attack from outside.
  • Did someone just get around to watching the latest Die Hard?
  • Or they could catapult a bucket of squirrels into a power station.
  • I work on NBC's Revolution, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.
  • G. Gordon Liddy addressed this in one of his books pre-911. A dozen well placed rifle shots into a few step-transformers and most of the nation would be in the dark for six months.
  • All of our Telecommunications, water, sewage, road, rail and electric infrastructure will remain vulnerable simply because there's no way to adequatly secure the large fixed emplacements required to support them. Even if you turn the command and control centers into bunkers, you can disable them by using a backhoe to cut through some tiny copper of glass fiber lines.
  • Beware the Derecho Liberation Army!
  • NewportBarGuy: I remain convinced by the scientific/techie dudes that investing about $10 billion in our energy grid would give us an awesome return on investment, and allow them to put in modern safeguards to protect that grid.

    I really don't understand why we haven't done it yet. Sure, the act of paying for it and all the construction sucks and is not sexy, but the end result would be pretty hot!


    Because there is little to no political gain in fixing things that don't make for handy photo ops. A new highway, bridge, community center, aircraft carrier, etc. all provide nice backdrops for speeches; doubly good when you've named it after a popular politician in your party. In fact, having an aging power grid is useful to politicians; it gives them an example of "aging infrastructure that we must fix now!" and something to bash the other party with, but then they dole out those extra dollars the aforementioned highways, bridges, etc. Rinse and repeat. 

    The other problem is visibility. If it works, it's kind of hard to prove ("Well, if we hadn't done it we would have had.... um, I don't know... nine more power outages?") and when there is a power outage, it's a lightning rod (so to speak) for people who like to biatch and moan ("You promised that if we spent this money we'd never be without power again!" "Well, no, what I said was..." "Shut up! You promised!").
  • ZAZ: Or they could catapult a bucket of squirrels into a power station.


    You my friend are a terrorist.
  • And as always, The Onion is prophetic. Link
  • Seriously, this time.

    There are two problems. We can't fix the vulnerability of a single transmission line at a reasonable cost. We can build a system that isn't perpetually on the edge of collapse because there's no revenue in building a margin for failure.

    As I said in one of the storm threads, utilities are good at handling revenue-related events with less than 5 year recurrence and awful at handling non-revenue events or long term planning. Routine tree trimming, fine. Tree trimming for 20 year ice storms, no can do. Moving utility poles so a road can be widened isn't revenue and doesn't get done until the state threatens to revoke permits. Planning for 10-50 year events costs money and provides no benefit, with benefit measured in the 0-5 year time frame.

    So we have a system where a lightning strike in Quebec takes the Northeast offline.
  • Will someone PLZ think of the turrists?
  • Or we could, you know, let demand outstrip supply and fatuously suppose that the same number of power plants can service an expanding population. Throw in thunderstorms, inept hiring practices, stir and let sit for up to 10 years.
  • Meanwhile. Old reports that fark posted articles about, said the same thing
  • Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: Because there is little to no political gain in fixing things that don't make for handy photo ops. A new highway, bridge, community center, aircraft carrier, etc. all provide nice backdrops for speeches; doubly good when you've named it after a popular politician in your party. In fact, having an aging power grid is useful to politicians; it gives them an example of "aging infrastructure that we must fix now!" and something to bash the other party with, but then they dole out those extra dollars the aforementioned highways, bridges, etc. Rinse and repeat.


    What a fine hypothesis. Pity it's so out of sync with reality.
  • NewportBarGuy: I remain convinced by the scientific/techie dudes that investing about $10 billion in our energy grid would give us an awesome return on investment, and allow them to put in modern safeguards to protect that grid.

    I really don't understand why we haven't done it yet. Sure, the act of paying for it and all the construction sucks and is not sexy, but the end result would be pretty hot!


    Because people are short-sighted and don't think long-term. It's more of a "OMG, it's going to cost how much right now?! REJECT ALL THE THINGS."
  • When I first started working at SCE - a few years after 9/11 - I was shocked to find out exactly how vulnerable the grid was, how long it would take to make repairs if the wrong thing blew up, and how there was fark all they could do about it, except have plans in place and access to the necessary spares. It apparently would take longer to rebalance supply and demand than to make repairs in some cases - you can't just flip a switch and dump a few hundred megawatts into the system without something ready to use the juice.

    Fortunately, knowing the grid is vulnerable is different than knowing exactly how to cause the maximum disruption - so some yahoo in isolation isn't likely to start the apocalypse.
  • Jeevus Crisco, how long are we going to talk talk talk about this instead of just armoring the dan grid?? I'll bet Farkers have known about EMPs for at least 20+ years.
  • Blah, blah, blah.
    Nation of whiny assed titty babies.

    Keep 'em skeered, right?
  • Load 25 of 46 newer comments

This thread is closed to new comments.