This is the apocalypse North Korea wants to unleash

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DEFCONWarningSystem
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Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:50 pm

It wouldn’t happen overnight. But it could happen.

A new report to the US Congress warns one or two nuclear weapons detonated high in the atmosphere above the country would — within a few months and years — lead to the death of 90 per cent of the country’s population.

It’s a worst-case post-apocalyptic nightmare scenario common to computer games and movies.

Nothing would work anymore.

Society would collapse.

The rule of the gun will replace the rule of law.

And it’s exactly what North Korea has been threatening.

DAY ZERO

Nuclear weapons analyst Dr Peter Pry, who testified before a US Homeland Security committee earlier this month, says his work validates past warnings that an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack could immediately wreak nationwide havoc.

It’s a side-effect of nuclear warheads that are exploded in the ionosphere — an area high in Earth’s atmosphere filled with particles charged by the planet’s magnetic field and radiation from the Sun.

A gamma-ray pulse, produced by a nuclear blast, causes the ionosphere to ‘short-circuit’ with the ground below. And this — like a solar-flare — can bring entire economies to their knees in a few hundred nanoseconds.

The more advanced the economy, the more dramatic the effect.

The nuclear blast itself isn’t likely to kill anybody, or irradiate anything.

But up to 500,000 people would be dead within minutes.

That’s how many people are in commercial airliners in US skies at any one time.

With their avionics fried, they’d fall from the sky.

High-speed rail vehicles would cease to be guided. Cars would stall.

The lights would go out and computers would die — and so would every piece of medical equipment in a line-of-sight of the nuclear fireball, high in the sky.

Then there would be the fires. Gas pipelines feeding cities and industry could ignite from fried control systems, unleashing widespread firestorms.

How many would die in the first day is anyone’s guess.

But that would just be the beginning of the end.


Read more at news.au.com

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Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:50 pm

None of us have had to live in the kind of scenario that would follow an EMP attack. Even if you think you're prepared, you're not. No one has had to endure multiple months or years of a lights out scenario before. That's what makes this scary. Not that we can't survive a month without our iPhones or internet, but that it might be a very, very long time before things came back to "normal"... if they ever do.

The real and present danger after the initial blast would be unprepared neighbors. That, or follow up nuclear weapons :lol:
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ThunderStealer
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Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:53 pm

I don't think an EMP would be a stand alone attack, but rather the precursor to invasion. The effects of the weapon grid are debatable, ranging anywhere from annoying to catastrophic. Since we haven't done a high altitude "fry the grid" test before, we don't really know what one will do, but we do know that it'll take quite the payload. So any old nuke in the atmosphere won't suffice. On another note, one of NK's tests were so high up, that our THAAD wouldn't be able to knock it down. That's reassuring.

Our DoD is running a black out drill the same day as Antifa's "overthrow the government" crybaby movement begins.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-2 ... s-november
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Upshot
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Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:07 am

I cannot believe the amount of brain sweat everybody expends panicking over this.
EMP satellites... Kwangmyongsong-4 weighs 440lbs. Not much of a death star. It mostly seemed to be some batteries, a transmitter, maybe an optical system, and it's been inert- non radiating-for most of its time in orbit. No payload fraction for this mythical EMP super bomb.

EMP from a high altitude nuclear detonation. Yes, this is a real phenomena. It's not as devastating as it's made out to be. We actually know a far bit about high altitude nuclear effects. Many of the effects are transitory in nature- ionosphere disruptions that play hob with radio communications, and they managed to fry an early comm sat- 1961-62 vintage, when they didn't really know how to hammer one together, so it was sketchy to start with.
Of the Soviet tests of Project K, test 184, 1961, 300kt at 290nm, did some damage. Kazakstan did not cave in, or stop working. A power plant suffered a Arc that burnt down the plant due to crappy plant procedures, some phone lines and a HV line were damaged.
Starfish Prime, 1962, 1.4 MEGA TONS at 400 nm. Blew fuses, set off alarms, shut down a MW relay station.


US
Yucca 28 April 1958, 1.7 kt, 26.2 km
Teak, 1 August 1958, 3.8 Mt, 76.8 km
Orange, 12 August 1958, 3.8 Mt, 43 km

Argus I, 27 August 1958, 1.7 kt, 200 km
Argus II, 30 August 1958, 1.7 kt, 240 km
Argus III, 6 September 1958, 1.7 kt, 540 km (The highest known man made nuclear explosion)

Bluegill, 3 June 1962, failed
Bluegill Prime, 25 July 1962, failed
Bluegill Double Prime, 15 October 1962, failed
Bluegill Triple Prime, 26 October 1962, 410 kt, 50 km
Starfish, 20 June 1962, failed
Starfish Prime, 9 July 1962, 1.4 Mt, 400 km (The largest man made nuclear explosion in outer space)
Checkmate, 20 October 1962, 7 kt, 147 km
Kingfish, 1 November 1962, 410 kt, 97 km

Soviet
Test #88, 6 September 1961, 10.5 kt, 22.7 km
Test #115, 6 October 1961, 40 kt, 41.3 km
Test #127, 27 October 1961, 1.2 kt, 150 km
Test #128, 27 October 1961, 1.2. kt, 300 km

Test #184, 22 October 1962, 300 kt, 290 km
Test #187, 28 October 1962, 300 kt, 150 km
Test #195, 1 November 1962, 300 kt, 59 km

The world doesn't end, the poles don't reverse, the grid doesn't collapse, and North Korea can't do it.
All of this is pure panic mongering that ignores facts, science and engineering.
As far as this Engineer is concerned, you are all making too much stew out of one small oyster.
Sometimes, the only rational choice is a head shot.

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DEFCONWarningSystem
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Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:30 pm

Those tests weren't specifically designed to test for EMP, were they?

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KimPossible
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Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:36 pm

DEFCONWarningSystem wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:30 pm
Those tests weren't specifically designed to test for EMP, were they?
No but before the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty there where very large high altitude detonation of eray of Nuclear Bombs on the Continental United States along with Russia. Did 90% of America/Russia power grid fry, landline telephone, TV, cars go out? No they did not. Firmly don't believe DPRK has the power to shut the power down in even half the Continental United States.
There is a war on woman! #VoteThemOut

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RiffRaff
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Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:52 pm

Upshot wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:07 am
I cannot believe the amount of brain sweat everybody expends panicking over this.
EMP satellites... Kwangmyongsong-4 weighs 440lbs. Not much of a death star. It mostly seemed to be some batteries, a transmitter, maybe an optical system, and it's been inert- non radiating-for most of its time in orbit. No payload fraction for this mythical EMP super bomb.

EMP from a high altitude nuclear detonation. Yes, this is a real phenomena. It's not as devastating as it's made out to be. We actually know a far bit about high altitude nuclear effects. Many of the effects are transitory in nature- ionosphere disruptions that play hob with radio communications, and they managed to fry an early comm sat- 1961-62 vintage, when they didn't really know how to hammer one together, so it was sketchy to start with.
Of the Soviet tests of Project K, test 184, 1961, 300kt at 290nm, did some damage. Kazakstan did not cave in, or stop working. A power plant suffered a Arc that burnt down the plant due to crappy plant procedures, some phone lines and a HV line were damaged.
Starfish Prime, 1962, 1.4 MEGA TONS at 400 nm. Blew fuses, set off alarms, shut down a MW relay station.


US
Yucca 28 April 1958, 1.7 kt, 26.2 km
Teak, 1 August 1958, 3.8 Mt, 76.8 km
Orange, 12 August 1958, 3.8 Mt, 43 km

Argus I, 27 August 1958, 1.7 kt, 200 km
Argus II, 30 August 1958, 1.7 kt, 240 km
Argus III, 6 September 1958, 1.7 kt, 540 km (The highest known man made nuclear explosion)

Bluegill, 3 June 1962, failed
Bluegill Prime, 25 July 1962, failed
Bluegill Double Prime, 15 October 1962, failed
Bluegill Triple Prime, 26 October 1962, 410 kt, 50 km
Starfish, 20 June 1962, failed
Starfish Prime, 9 July 1962, 1.4 Mt, 400 km (The largest man made nuclear explosion in outer space)
Checkmate, 20 October 1962, 7 kt, 147 km
Kingfish, 1 November 1962, 410 kt, 97 km

Soviet
Test #88, 6 September 1961, 10.5 kt, 22.7 km
Test #115, 6 October 1961, 40 kt, 41.3 km
Test #127, 27 October 1961, 1.2 kt, 150 km
Test #128, 27 October 1961, 1.2. kt, 300 km

Test #184, 22 October 1962, 300 kt, 290 km
Test #187, 28 October 1962, 300 kt, 150 km
Test #195, 1 November 1962, 300 kt, 59 km

The world doesn't end, the poles don't reverse, the grid doesn't collapse, and North Korea can't do it.
All of this is pure panic mongering that ignores facts, science and engineering.
As far as this Engineer is concerned, you are all making too much stew out of one small oyster.
Good, well-thought out analysis. The only comment I have is that we have underestimated North Korea's technological advances as a matter of course for quite some time now. They are constantly surprising us. So while I agree for the most part with your assessment, I still think it prudent to plan for the unexpected, which includes loss of power grid, not just from EMP, but from cyberattack, natural disaster, etc.
"It's in your nature to destroy yourselves." - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

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RiffRaff
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Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:58 pm

KimPossible wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:36 pm
DEFCONWarningSystem wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:30 pm
Those tests weren't specifically designed to test for EMP, were they?
No but before the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty there where very large high altitude detonation of eray of Nuclear Bombs on the Continental United States along with Russia. Did 90% of America/Russia power grid fry, landline telephone, TV, cars go out? No they did not. Firmly don't believe DPRK has the power to shut the power down in even half the Continental United States.
EMP was largely an unanticipated effect in those tests. They've had 55 years to work on EMP-enhanced weapons. Plus, our electronics were largely vacuum tubes back then. Now our society is dependent on advanced technology that is very delicate when it comes to electrical power surges. I think it is unwise to claim with any certainty that we cannot be hurt by a high altitude EMP burst.
"It's in your nature to destroy yourselves." - Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Upshot
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Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:26 pm

Even a huge- multi-megaton- detonation is going to cause some damage. Blow some insulators, drop some lines, fry some cellphones and hardware. It's not going to be anything like 'the end of life as we know it' scenario's punted about here and else where.
Think. The quebec ice storm wiped out nearly every HT tower and cable run in the province. Physically crushed and demolished towers, droped line, fragged insulators. All of it was back on line fairly quickly, amazing considering the scale of the physical damage.
Testing- DPRK does not have the technical chowder, and has not been doing any testing that points to any knowledge of nuclear EMP effects that isn't extant or published. Sub-scale research with conventional explosive-pumped EMP devices is damned hard- you keep blowing up the hardware! The physics are sporty, the mechanics and timing requirements tetchy. Off the shelf devices can be had, but... the principles are similar, the details wildly divergent.
Weight, weight, weight, and throw weight . If anybody has done any nuclear pumped EMP hardware design, they're not talking, so I'm guessing and looking at hardware and methods I know something about. What would be in a nuclear-pumped EMP device.
You'll be dicking with a MHD gizmo
I would take a guess that a largish device- 300-500kt would be the start point, and some cool tricks with tampers, lenses, radiation guides and things I can oly guess at would be in play. This thing would probably end up being fairly heavy, probably as heavy as a staged thermonuclear device-five-eight thousand pounds. The photo's of kimmie dry humping his toy show a typical 60's type single stage design, peanut-shaped, and fairly largish. The case doesn't appear to have room in it for the greeblies mentioned above.
It may be instructive to look at the designs for the 'casaba howitzer', a small nuclear 'shaped' propulsion and MHD pumping charge the boffins noodled on at LLRL and Sandia. Only a few kilotons yield, but the shaping lenses and cases added a great deal of bulk and complexity-which always equals weight.
One possible description of a nuclear pumped Em device derived from Project Excalibur work in the 80's- the technical, scaling and fiscal challenges were enormous...
"...Civilian speculation about how a microwave bomb would work focused on two concepts: the electron plasma oscillator and the magnetic flux compressor. The electron plasma oscillator would use the X- and gamma-rays generated by a nuclear explosion to create electrical currents.
The device could be surrounded by a cylindrical waveguide structure, possibly built up from many concentric metallic cylinders to serve three purposes: they could act as reflex diodes, emitting an intense pulse of electrons by Compton scattering and the photoelectric effect; they could provide a cavity structure in which the fields could 'ring' at a resonant frequency; and they could serve as a microwave horn antenna to direct a beam. Since this diode-waveguide-antenna structure would remain intact for only a short time before it was blown apart, it would have to exploit the near speed-of-light velocities of the gammas, electrons, and microwaves, to generate a beam quickly."
Estimates that about 0.001% of the weapon yield could be converted into directional microwaves using this process, at a frequency in the tens of gigahertz, leading to the conclusion that such a weapon would only be effective at 300 to 1,000 km range in space, or less then 200 km against targets within the atmosphere.
The magnetic flux compressor works in a similar fashion to a conventional explosive flux compressor, only using a nuclear explosive. This produces an enormous pulse of electricity, which is fed into a microwave antenna. [Fe] estimates that 5% or more of the nuclear yield might be transformed into electric current, and that "a few percent" of that energy might in turn be transformed into microwaves before the system blows itself apart, yielding about 0.1% of the nuclear yield in directional microwaves.
Incidentally, besides the usual uses of EMP, there was evidently speculation at Lawrence Livermore that a microwave bomb might perhaps be designed to produce microwaves at a frequency that would interfere with the functioning of the human nervous system - a "brain bomb". I've no evidence the brain bomb ever went beyond speculation, though.
We do know the EMP project was primarily based at Sandia lab, though there was probably also involvement by either Los Alamos or Livermore to design the physics package itself - I suspect Livermore, since they were working on an unspecified nuclear weapon to "hold at risk... strategic relocatable targets" at the time, and that was apparently the primary aim of the microwave bomb project. There was probably at least one nuclear test as part of the microwave bomb program, though this is not certain - we know that at least one concept besides PROMETHEUS and EXCALIBUR had a test, and the microwave bomb is the most likely candidate..."

Fenstermacher, Dan L. "The Effects of Nuclear Test-Ban Regimes on Third-Generation-Weapons Innovation." Science & Global Security, Vol. 1 (1990), pp. 187-223.
Fenstermacher, Dan L. "Arms Race: The Next Generation." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, March 1991, pp. 29-34.
Broad, William J. Star Warriors: A Penetrating Look into the Lives of the Young Scientists Behind Our Space Age Weaponry. Simon and Schuster, 1985.

LLRL and Sandia couldn't make it work. Neither the Xray laser or EMP worked well, with nothing like the necessary throughput-output to be even a remotely effective weapon, even for a despotic nutbar.
Not a big deal for nuclear pulse propulsion, a very big deal if you're playing with limited throw weights imposed by 1960's vintage russian and PRC rocketry.
The Norks aren't going to be able to orbit that, and the EMP effects seem to come from devices detonated at sub orbital altitudes. This thing would have to lofted on a standard ICBM profile, with heat shielding.
It's also a big unknown. Why go to all the trouble for a few soft kills? You chuck a nuke at a nuclear power, you want to do some real damage, kill some imperialist pig-dogs before the inevitable massive retaliation blows you into the juche fruit afterlife. Killing some cellphones, and interrupting junior's online fap session just isn't worth it. If I was a kimme with a limited number of warheads, I'd try to blow away as big a counter-value target as I could hit. Chicago (winnatude) or NY (winnatude) or DC (major winnage).
Sometimes, the only rational choice is a head shot.

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Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:46 pm

"Upshot » Sun Oct 29, 2017 4:26 pm
Even a huge- multi-megaton- detonation is going to cause some damage. ..."

VERY well said.

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