Envision this Scenario
Imagine the following:
Day 1, Noon EST (9am PST): The power goes out across the entire continental United States. High Voltage Transformers have blown out everywhere. Within minutes, all 58 commercially operating nuclear power plants across the Nation have “scrammed” (i.e. shutdown) their reactors, which is standard operating procedure during the loss of external electric power. Millions of TVs, laptops, and computers have shorted out. Cell phones and landline phones aren’t working. The Internet is down. Smoke is visible from a number of small fires across every community, but very few sirens from fire engines can be heard. Traffic lights are out, and a significant number of cars and trucks that were running are now inoperable and scattered about the roadways.
Trains and subways are shutdown. ATM’s don’t work, banks close, and Wall Street closes. The Emergency Broadcasting Service and 911 are not operating. First responders are unable to communicate, coordinate or respond, not that they could get anywhere on the clogged roadways. Many of the planes that were in the air have crashed, and those that didn’t must now attempt to land without help from air traffic control or ground radar. No one seems to know what’s going on. By nightfall, most homes, hospitals, and elderly care facilities are without running water. The nighttime sky is pitch black across America, and the stars seem eerily bright overhead.
Days 2-3: There’s a run on everything at the stores; those that are open will only accept cash or barter, since debit card readers are non-functioning. There will be no trucks coming to resupply the stores, since canning facilities, distribution centers, and interstate trucking all rely on the electric grid to function. There are long lines at the very few gas stations that have emergency diesel generators powering their pumps. In homes without emergency back-up power, anything remaining in refrigerators and freezers spoils and becomes unsafe to eat.
Days 4-6: Law and order begin to break down. Without communications and functioning electronic equipment, most emergency responders will likely stay home to protect their own families. Stores are looted for anything and everything. Many in the cities begin to evacuate to the suburbs, often by foot, overwhelming the already limited resources there. Emergency back-up diesel generators in most homes run out of fuel.
Days 7-10: Emergency back-up diesel generators run out of fuel at most water and wastewater facilities, radio and TV stations, hospitals, food processing plants and emergency services locations, if they weren’t damaged or destroyed on Day 1. There will be no tanker trucks coming to refuel. Hospitals are required to evacuate their patients if they are without external electric power for more than 72 hours, except there aren’t any hospitals with electric power to evacuate their patients to. By now, there are few doctors, nurses and hospital staff members remaining, because the majority have gone home to protect themselves and their families. Many patients requiring constant care either have died or will die soon. Without firefighters and water pressure, a number of fires that started from a variety of causes, including from blown High Voltage Transformers and electrical equipment on Day 1, additionally from nature, human error or arson, burn out of control until there is nothing left to burn. As a result, entire city blocks and many homes are now in ashes. In the same manner, hundreds of wildfires burn out of control throughout the US, until they eventually burn themselves out. Without water pressure, there is no clean, safe drinking water available. Without wastewater processing, the situation becomes disgusting and dangerous very quickly as pressurized, raw sewage pours from toilets and sinks in the lowest elevations of the system. This makes millions of homes and apartments uninhabitable due to both the health risks and the high levels of methane gas.
Days 11-15: Without law enforcement, the hungry and desperate masses break into their neighbors’ homes for food and supplies. Armed groups and gangs roam the streets, preying on the weak and defenseless. Even “good people”, if unprepared and forced to survive, do “whatever it takes” to feed their children and keep their loved ones alive. Like first responders, many in the stateside military and National Guard abandon their posts and go home to protect their own families from the looters. Stateside military bases are 99% reliant on the civilian power grid and are just as “dark” as everywhere else. National Guard Armories around the Nation have been or will soon be looted by well-armed gangs intent on stealing loosely protected military vehicles, weapons, supplies and hardware. The thin layer of civilized society has begun to slip away in the fight for survival.
Days 16-30: By the end of Day 7, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) mandated diesel fuel supply for back-up emergency diesel generators at most nuclear power plants runs dry. For back-up generators and reactor cooling
pumps damaged or destroyed on Day 1, there are two primary, central locations in the U.S. with spares that would need to be transported many miles on clogged highways to their destinations. If reactor plant operators are unable to operate and resupply fuel to back-up diesel generators, and if they are unable to power and operate reactor cooling pumps, reactor cores will eventually overheat and pools for spent fuel rods will eventually boil. If this is the case, over the next few days to weeks, many of the 58 commercially operating nuclear power plants with 96 nuclear reactors in 29 states (as of 4/15/2020) will meltdown, just as the Fukushima nuclear power plant did in Japan following the tsunami of 2011.
Based on 2010 Census data, more than 120 million Americans live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant. Their already bad situation will become far worse as grainy, radioactive debris blows downwind from failed reactor plants. There is nowhere to evacuate to, no one to oversee or coordinate any evacuations, and few methods available to communicate the problem. Adding to the social breakdown, many of the 2.3 million adults in federal and state prisons and county jails across the U.S. are either let free or escape due to lack of power, resources and personnel to contain them. The first outbreaks of dysentery, cholera and typhoid, all brought on by drinking unpurified water and living in unsanitary conditions, begin to spread throughout the country. These and other treatable third world diseases, along with dehydration, starvation and murder, claim the lives of tens of millions of Americans. There are no hospitals to go to. There are no medications available. Even minor injuries and infections become life threatening. In most parts of the country, there is no one coming to help... and this is just the first 30 days following the grid being down nationwide. It’ll get much worse in the days and weeks to follow...
Does this all sound like an apocalyptic movie or a “prepper” fantasy? We wish it were. What we have described above is the beginning of the collapse of the United States of America caused by as few as one to three nuclear weapons detonated high in the sky above our magnificent, but totally unprepared, country. effect would be an ELECTRONIC shock wave that would burn up electrical power lines and transformers and “fry” many electronic devices, such as portable radios, TV’s, computers and telephones (especially those plugged into electric or telecommunications outlets).
This is NOT science fiction material but CONFIRMED SCIENCE. The worst case scenario described above, High Altitude Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP or HEMP), has been known and studied by the Department of Defense and our Government ever since the ‘Starfish Prime’ nuclear test on July 9th, 1962; this was one of a series of five tests by the US, testing the effects of nuclear weapons in high-altitude/lower outer space. We could also lose our electric power and our critical infrastructures dependent upon electric power for an extended period of time across the United States by a massive solar storm striking Earth, OR a well-coordinated physical attack on our power grid, OR a sophisticated cyber-attack, OR any combination of these threats
Does our government know about this? YES! No fewer than eleven studies conducted by or for federal agencies over the past decade have all agreed: the Nation’s bulk power distribution system can be disrupted or destroyed over large areas due to various man-made and naturally occurring events.