How Safe is the US Electrical Grid?

All it takes is a hit on nine substations, then it’s lights out for America and back into the 1800’s for at least a decade — on top of up to 90% of American lives being lost due to the domino effects.

 

Throughout history, inexplicable natural phenomena have tended to instill an understandable fear in people. Accounts of the solar storm of August and September 1859 stand out for their tendency toward the whimsical and delighted.

For telegraph operators in the Americas and Europe, however, the experience caused chaos. Many found that their lines were simply unusable—they could neither send nor receive messages. Others were able to operate even with their power supplies turned off, using only the current in the air from the solar storm. Continue reading