Nuclear Propulsion Neg

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EMP ! – Helpers

EMPs create a damage radius of hundreds of miles – kills the economy

SPG 7 (Sage Policy Group, 9/10/7, JPG

Various government reports, such as the one by the US Congressional EMP Commission and the Congressional Research Service, have confirmed the growing likelihood of EMP events of various kinds. These reports and related Congressional testimony support the contention that relatively available and inexpensive SCUD type missiles are capable of carrying the required payload that could be launched from a small ship 200 or more miles off the East Coast of the United States and detonated between thirty and eighty miles high. Any EMP-inflicted damage delivered from this altitude would extend out hundreds of miles beyond the region considered in this study, significantly complicating the recovery process and the restoration of economic activity while producing economic consequences roughly ten times greater than those impacting the Baltimore-Washington- Richmond region.

EMP makes recovery impossible – shuts down communication

SPG 7 (Sage Policy Group, 9/10/7, JPG

The discussion above assumes a fairly orderly effort to restore economic capacity. It is certainly possible that chaos would complicate the restoration process, at least during early stages. Disaster response is highly dependent on communications and coordination, but EMP would likely destroy the telecommunications system or at least render it unreliable. Unlike hurricanes and other natural disasters, there is no reason to believe that EMP could be anticipated. Thus, opportunities to pre-position materials and supplies may not exist for EMP. There is also at least some historic precedence for civil disorder when electric power systems fail. A lightning strike on July 13, 1977, led to a blackout in New York City and citywide looting and disorder, including arson. The economic impact estimates above are based on the primary impacts of EMP on the electrical system and electrical and electronic infrastructure. No consideration is given to secondary or tertiary impacts. For example, overloaded electrical circuits can give rise to fires. Under any circumstance, firefighting after EMP could be difficult as the lack of power to maintain water pressure could severely limit firefighting efforts. Disabled telecommunications systems would cripple the ability of police or other emergency personnel to respond. Widespread damage to computer and electronic equipment would presumably result in the loss of substantial quantities of electronically stored data. At a minimum, these lost data would be a temporary inconvenience, but could also be a significant source of long-term economic loss.

The timeframe is immediate – no infrastructure is protected

Martin 8 (Stephen, President of the Philemon Foundation, 11/30/8, JPG

Images of Lehman Bros office buildings being ‘evacuated’, and shocked employees leaving carrying boxes,  played around the world. The shock precipitated was indeed immense, and further exacerbated mistrust between Financial Institutions unprecedented. Here today, gone tomorrow. No one knew exactly how bad their own books were, let alone how bad that of their competitors. Correspondingly, no one wanted to lend. In course of just three days, the London Interchange Bank Office Rate (LIBOR) doubled; it’s biggest jump in at least seven years. Share prices tumbled further.  In parallel terms the EMP pulse (timed in billionths of a second, much more rapid than lightning) can render unshielded electrical equipment inoperative. In financial warfare parallel, EMP as a consideration is as aspect of ‘shock and awe’, destroying trust, destroying confidence - with just as devastating results concerning functional operability, and the extension of damage collateral – few of us being ‘shielded’.

Modern tech is extremely susceptible

Butt 10 (Yousaf, staff scientist @ Center for Astrophysics @ Harvard, PhD in experimental nuclear astrophysics from Yale, 1/25/10, JPG

The advent of modern solid-state circuitry (ICs) as compared to the vacuum-tube technology of 1962, has dramatically increased the susceptibility of electronic equipment to the E1 pulse. Modern ICs are about a million times more sensitive to prompt E1 pulses than the early-1960s era electronics.

EMP ! – Grid Failure

EMPs cause cascading grid failure

Butt 10 (Yousaf, staff scientist @ Center for Astrophysics @ Harvard, PhD in experimental nuclear astrophysics from Yale, 1/25/10, JPG

Electronic control systems are effectively, according to the EMP commission, the Achilles’ heel of our power delivery network. While it is uncertain what the exact implications of losing such control systems would be on the major hardware (e.g. transformers, turbines, etc.), it is best to be prudent and assume substantial damage may result, at least in the peak E1 field region, for a large nuclear device. (The spatial extent of this peak-field region, for the types of the threats most feared by the EMP commission, see Fig 1.) Outside the region exposed to a substantial E1 pulse cascading grid failure may well occur, but since the associated hardware damage would not be expected there, it would reasonable to assume that that portion of the grid could be resuscitated after a short outage.
Collapse of the power grid kills the global economy

Whitman 7 (Christine Todd, writer @ Business Week, 9/17/7, JPG

The cost of failing to meet these needs will be steep. The global economy relies on world-class power grids to trade stocks, to communicate instantly, and to buy and sell around the clock. If anything points to the frustrating effect that a failed power grid can have on profits, it's the San Francisco power outage that took down Silicon Valley enterprises like Craigslist and Netflix (NFLX ) in July. Although it only cost them two hours of online business, that minor power blip illustrates how a lack of electricity can render even a tech-savvy company impotent.

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