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EEI Statement on EPRI’s New Report on the Potential Impact of an Electromagnetic Pulse on the Electric Transmission System

WASHINGTON (April 30, 2019) – Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Vice President for Security and Preparedness Scott Aaronson today issued the following statement on the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI’s) new report​ on the potential impact of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from a nuclear weapon on the electric transmission system.

“Protecting the nation’s energy grid and ensuring a reliable and affordable supply of energy are top priorities for America’s electric companies. How an EMP may impact critical infrastructure is an extremely complex issue that cannot be addressed with a one-size-fits-all solution. The Electric Power Research Institute launched a research project in 2016 to evaluate how EMPs could impact the energy grid. This research enables electric companies to make science-informed decisions for developing, testing, and deploying EMP-resistant grid components. Sound policy should be informed by sound science. 

“As EPRI’s study shows, a nuclear weapon detonating above the continental U.S. would impact the energy grid’s transmission system, and we now have a better understanding of what those impacts could be. This research allows electric companies to better prioritize risk in order to enhance protection around critical assets.

“EPRI also tested mitigation strategies and was able to rule out options that don’t work and to identify strategies that mitigate the impacts from an EMP. Multiple electric companies will be piloting those potential solutions to ensure that new mitigation strategies do not impact other energy grid equipment or undermine or conflict with mitigation and protective measures that already are in place. 

“As critical infrastructure providers, EEI’s member companies understand they are a target for adversaries. This is why we continue to improve our defenses, but also have focused on response and recovery to ensure any impacts to our systems are limited and that we can help protect our nation’s security and the safety of our customers. Our strong industry-government partnership, coordinated through the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, will continue to be key to accomplishing our shared goal of protecting the energy grid against all threats.”

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