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US electricity suppliers take actions to address electromagnetic risks

The US Government Accountability Office has issued a report into the ways that electricity suppliers are starting to protect electric grid from electromagnetic threats which could potentially cause extensive and long-lasting outages.

Electromagnetic impacts could be generated by a severe solar storm or a high-altitude nuclear attack.

The GAO report examines, among other things:

  • To what extent US and Canadian electricity suppliers have identified information about geomagnetic disturbance (GMD) and high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) effects on the grid,
  • What steps selected US and Canadian suppliers have taken to protect against GMD and HEMP, and
  • What opportunities exist for US suppliers to recover costs for protecting against GMD and HEMP.

Read the ‘Critical Infrastructure Protection: Electricity Suppliers Have Taken Actions to Address Electromagnetic Risks, and Additional Research Is Ongoing’ report (PDF).

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