Report: North Korean EMP attack would devastate Hawaii

Hawaii is home to 11 military bases and U.S. Pacific Command’s HQ.

 

Defense analysts said Hawaii could be targeted by North Korea, which continues to develop its nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities, Military.com reported on May 13.

Hawaii is seen as a desirable target as it is headquarters for U.S. Pacific Command and has 11 military bases, including Pearl Harbor, said Dean Cheng, senior research fellow with the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation. Continue reading

Lights Out: The Top 7 Threats To America’s Power Grid

Revelations earlier last week that hackers linked to Russia attacked and took down the Ukrainian power grid are bringing to light once again major threats to the American power grid.

American homes, industries, and businesses are deeply dependent on reliable electricity, so threats to the consistent delivery of electricity put modern life itself at risk.

“This perfect storm of policies will unavoidably raise electricity prices on Americans and seriously threaten grid reliability,” Warren continued. Continue reading

PLA may use electric reactive armor on tanks: Global Times

Electric reactive armor is usually made of two electrical plates separated by an insulator to make a high-power capacitor. When a tank using the armor is hit by an incoming object such as a rocket or missile, it will discharge electricity from the capacitor to vaporize the object. The discharge is claimed to be powerful to turn the incoming object into plasma, said the report.

Continue reading

Drought cuts power production of California dams

Shasta Dam, looming more than 600 feet tall and gatekeeper of the largest man-made lake in California, was designed to perform two crucial functions: Store water and generate power.

And for decades, the massive concrete structure has channeled water to cities and farms while generating up to 710 megawatts of hydropower, enough to provide electricity for more than 532,000 homes.

But amid four years of drought, the reservoir is drained to 50% of capacity, cutting the dam’s power production by about a third, according to federal reclamation officials. Continue reading

Lake Mead Has Dropped To Its Lowest Level Ever

Lake Mead

 

Less water, less electricity

California isn’t the only one having a water crisis. Yesterday, Lake Mead sank to its lowest level yet. The watery behemoth created by the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s was reduced to a mere 1,080.07 feet above sea level, minimally smaller than the previous record of 1,080.19 set last August. Continue reading

Russia To Power Arctic Drilling With Floating Nuclear Reactors

It would sit in the icy waters of the Arctic, and provide a constant supply of electricity to a massive rig drilling for oil. They could be mass produced, potentially cutting the cost of drilling projects. The twist? The electricity on these floating power plants would come from a nuclear reactor.

Russia is looking to deploy a floating nuclear reactor that could help power ports, industries, and also offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic. In what sounds like a horrible nightmare for environmentalists, floating nuclear reactors could help produce more oil in the Arctic. Continue reading

Is a Fusion Nuclear Reactor Coming Soon?

The United States technological organization Lockheed Martin says it will produce a working fusion nuclear reactor within five yearsLockheed Martin says it may have an operating prototype by 2017, and a version for sale by 2022. Fusion involves forcing together atomic nuclei.

But the Lockheed Martin announcement has met with disbeliefCritics say nuclear fusion as a power source that can be sustained over time will not be developed anytime soon. But they also say that once the process is ready, it will be as huge a development as the discovery of electricity. Whenever it arrives, nuclear fusion promises to be the future source of cheap and safe energy Continue reading

Islamic State booby traps massive Iraqi dam which could kill thousands if breached

The bid to seize back Mosul dam from extremists falters as US backed forces are hampered by explosive devices

The American backed offensive to recapture Iraq’s biggest dam slowed on Monday, as fighters from the Islamic State rigged part of the area with booby traps and remotely triggered bombs.

Whilst a series of air strikes by American F-18 fighter jets reportedly sent most of the jihadists fleeing from the central parts of Mosul dam, a network of landmines and planted explosives they left behind impeded Kurdish ground forces from recapturing the strategically vital terrain.

“The jihadists have escaped from their positions beside the water pumps – the most important levers for the dam,” said General Kawa Kawani, spokesman for the Kurdish special forces. “But we cannot enter the area because of the explosives.” Continue reading

Russia starts reinforcing naval fleet in Crimea

Sevastopol (AFP) – Russia announced Wednesday that it had begun expanding and modernising its Black Sea fleet based in Crimea with new ships and submarines, just months after annexing the peninsula from Ukraine.

“Today we have started forming a powerful Black Sea fleet with an absolutely different level of air service, coastal missile and artillery troops and marines,” said Alexander Vitko, the Black Sea fleet commander, in a message to servicemen. Continue reading

Ethiopia army voices readiness to pay the price for Nile dam

A host of Ethiopian army commanders have voiced their readiness to protect the country’s multibillion-dollar hydroelectric dam project, currently at the heart of a major row with Cairo due to Egyptian fears the dam could threaten its traditional share of Nile water.

State-run television reported that military commanders had visited the project site, during which they had voiced their readiness to “pay the price” to protect the dam, which they described as a “national project.”

According to state television, the visit – the first by military commanders to the site – came as part of activities marking Ethiopia’s Army Day. Continue reading

Study Predicts More Frequent And Severe Blackouts In The Coming Years

A new assessment from a British and New Zealand research team has concluded that the worldwide electrical grid will suffer more frequent and significant outages if current trends continue.

In their report, which was published in the Social Space Scientific Journal, the two authors noted that nearly three quarters of American transmission lines are more than 25 years old. Continue reading

Megatons To Megawatts: Russian Warheads Fuel U.S. Power Plants

Here’s a remarkable fact: For the past two decades, 10 percent of all the electricity consumed in the United States has come from Russian nuclear warheads.

It was all part of a deal struck at the end of the Cold War. That deal wraps up today, when the final shipment of fuel arrives at a U.S. facility. Continue reading

African states push back on Chinese oil deals

NIAMEY, Niger – In Niger, government officials have fought a Chinese oil giant step by step, painfully undoing parts of a contract they call ruinous. In neighboring Chad, they have been even more forceful, shutting down the Chinese and accusing them of gross environmental negligence. In Gabon, they have seized major oil tracts from China, handing them over to the state company.

China wants Africa’s oil as much as ever. But instead of accepting the old terms, which many African officials call unconditional surrender, some cash-starved African states are pushing back, showing an assertiveness unthinkable until recently and suggesting that the days of unbridled influence by the African continent’s mega-investor may be waning. Continue reading

China betting on overland energy-supply lines

SINGAPORE – China’s strategy to diversify supply routes for its rapidly rising energy imports has just taken a major step forward.

On July 15, natural gas from Myanmar (aka Burma) started to flow along a recently completed pipeline that stretches for 1,100 kilometers from the sea coast, through jungle and mountains, to Kunming in southwest China.

There it will feed into other gas lines supplying homes, industries and power plants generating electricity in the world’s biggest energy user. Continue reading

Russia’s Putin eyeing military dominance in Central Asia amid water quarrels

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are landlocked and mountainous countries—75% and 90%, respectively—in Central Asia. The countries’ mountains provide abundance of potable water, which feed the two major rivers of Central Asia.  The scarcity of other natural resources understandably results in Bishkek’s and Dushanbe’s attempts to use the water more wisely—building hydropower plants (HPP) for generating electricity.  Dushanbe is aiming at erecting the tallest dam in the world—a 335-meter (about 1,000 feet) tall concrete wall on the Vakhsh River (turns into Amu-Darya River).  Kyrgyzstan, meanwhile, is securing Russia’s backing in building a 275-meter dam on the Naryn River (turns into Syr-Darya River). Continue reading