Military eyeing former Cold War mountain bunker as ‘shield’ against EMP attack?

Cheyenne Mountain Complex
New concerns are being raised that the nation’s electrical grid and critical infrastructure are increasingly vulnerable to a catastrophic foreign attack — amid speculation over whether officials are eyeing a former Cold War bunker, inside a Colorado mountain, as a “shield” against such a strike.

North American Aerospace Defense Command is looking for ways to protect itself in the event of a massive electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, attack — a deliberate burst of energy that could disrupt the electrical grid and cripple NORAD’s ability to defend the nation.

“What it could do, these various threats, is black out the U.S. electric grid for a protracted period of months or years,” warned Peter Pry, executive director of the EMP Task Force, a bipartisan congressional commission. “Nine out of ten Americans could die from starvation, disease and societal collapse, if the blackout lasted a year.”…Read more w/video from FOX news

Could Tesla’s Powerwall Batteries Really Take You off the Grid?

Tesla Battery
(by Ryan Egan) This past week, Tesla unveiled one of the most exciting advancements in renewable energy. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk announced the Powerwall, a battery for your home or business to provide you with backup power when you need it most. The intent behind the battery is to store excess solar energy for use when the sun goes down.

The battery is much smaller than you would think. It mounts to your wall and looks like a piece of art (pictured above). You could even coin the Powerwall as a smartbattery, as it comes loaded with a “liquid thermal control system and software” that allows the consumer to choose when they want to use the Powerwall’s stored energy. For example, instead of utilizing its energy during the evening, a consumer could choose to pull power from the battery during peak times when electricity from the grid is most costly.

The Powerwall comes in two energy storage variants, 10 kWh and 7 kWh. According to Tesla, the ” 10kWh [is] optimized for backup applications” while the “7kWh [is] optimized for daily use applications.” They’re also not nearly as expensive as you would expect. The 7kWh variant will cost $3,000 while the 10 kWh variant will cost $3,500 dollars. That does not include the inverter nor installation costs of the battery. (I probably wouldn’t recommend installing this yourself. Thousands of watts of energy and human bodies don’t typically go well together.)…Read more from TechSmash

Tesla announces new battery storage system to power homes

(by Doug G. Ware) LOS ANGELES — Tesla Motors on Thursday announced that it’s broadening its aim of revolutionizing your car to revolutionize your home — with a new battery system that might save you a lot of money on your power bill.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the Powerwall Home Battery system at midnight Thursday in the company’s Los Angeles area design studio. In accordance with its automotive philosophy, Tesla intends the new devices to improve homes and businesses and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

“This is within the power of humanity to do,” Musk told an audience gathered at Tesla’s design center in a Los Angeles suburb. “We have done things like this before. It is not impossible…Read more from United Press International | More info from Tesla website

Russian Analyst Calls For Nuclear Attack on Yellowstone National Park

(by Paul Joseph Watson) Russian geopolitical analyst Konstantin Sivkov has called for Moscow to launch a nuclear attack on Yellowstone National Park and the San Andreas fault line, noting that the devastating consequences would ‘disappear’ the United States as a country.

Sivkov made the comments in a piece for Russian trade newspaper VPK News, which were translated by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Arguing that NATO aggression against Russia required the “complete destruction of the enemy,” Sivkov went on to depict a chilling scenario.

“Geologists believe that the Yellowstone supervolcano could explode at any moment. There are signs of growing activity there. Therefore it suffices to push the relatively small, for example the impact of the munition megaton class to initiate an eruption. The consequences will be catastrophic for the United States – a country just disappears,” he said.

A Yellowstone supervolcano eruption would kill millions of people in the initial blast and bury much of the United States in volcanic ash. According to some experts, it could cause the end of the world. The last time a supervolcano exploded in Siberia, 85 per cent of all land species and 95 per cent of all ocean dwellers were completely wiped out…Read more from Infowars

Report: Iran Prepared for Nuclear EMP Attack on US

(by Joel Himelfarb) The issue of an Iranian nuclear strike that could do immense damage to the United States was raised in Israel this week in an opinion piece by U.S. analyst Peter Vincent Pry warning of the possibility of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack targeting the United States.

In the article, published on the Israeli website Arutz Sheva, Pry warned that “Iranian military documents describe such a scenario — including a recently translated Iranian military textbook that endorses nuclear EMP attack against the United States.”

A source said that the textbook discusses an EMP attack on America in 20 different places, the Washington Examiner‘s Paul Bedard reported Thursday…Read more from Newsmax

Will Europe’s Solar-Powered Grid Survive A Total Solar Eclipse?

A total solar eclipse over Europe is set for Friday and has officials worried about the integrity of the continent’s electrical grid, which is increasingly being powered by solar panels that rely on sunshine to produce energy.

Germany, Europe’s leading green energy producer, is located for better or worse right where the eclipse is set to be most pronounced. Solar panels produce 7 percent of the country’s electricity when it’s bright out, but questions loom about the grid’s performance when the sun blacks out.

For the 75 minute duration of the eclipse Friday morning, Germans will likely see massive power losses due to solar panels not getting enough sun. Solar power usually sees big decreases at the end of the day when the sun goes down, according to the energy company Opower, but utilities expect that and can compensate…Read more from The Daily Caller

USGS report raises chance of mega-quake hitting California in next 30 years

(by Brook Hays) LOS ANGELES — There’s a slightly higher chance than experts previously thought that a mega-quake, an earthquake of 8.0 magnitude or greater, will hit California.

In a report released by the U.S. Geological Survey on Tuesday, scientists raised the chance of a mega-earthquake hitting California within the next 30 years from 4.7 percent to 7 percent.

Researchers with USGS augmented their forecast models to account for the realization that fault lines are interconnected systems — not isolated entities…Read more from UPI

DOE probes need for an emergency stockpile of transformers to power the grid

(by Peter Behr) The Energy Department has begun an inquiry into the vulnerability of large power transformers that are crucial to U.S. electricity delivery, officials confirm. The study could lead to a strategy for expanding a strategic stockpile of spare transformers to help the grid recover from major cyber or physical assaults or solar storms and other natural disasters.

The project, at DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE), addresses potentially existential threats to the interstate high-voltage transmission network that have been highlighted in government studies as far back as 1990, and increasingly since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The DOE study aims at key, still-unresolved questions that have held up a comprehensive federal response on the issue, according to officials…Read more from E&E Publishing

Battery Hackers Are Building the Future in the Garage

(by Matthew Campbell, Tim Loh & Mark Chediak) Revolutions that start in the garage are nothing new. The one-car shed in which David Packard and William Hewlett launched the partnership that would grow into Hewlett-Packard Co. is known as the birthplace of Silicon Valley.

So Jason Hughes may be on to something.

In a cluttered four-car garage in suburban Deptford, New Jersey, Hughes spent the better part of last year hacking a 1,400-pound battery recovered from a wrecked Tesla Model S and reworking it into a stacked array that can store energy from his solar-power system. His battery tinkering resolves the issue of intermittency since his green power will be available whenever he needs it, night or day, rain or shine.

A day trader by profession, the 31-year-old doesn’t want to save the world. He just wants to get off the grid. He did his homework and concluded that off-the-shelf batteries just don’t yet have the heft he required to achieve that…Read more from BloombergBusiness

News Briefs for August 24th, 2014

Little-known fault suspected in Northern California quake

Napa Valley quake August 24, 2014 from San Francisco Chronicle

(08-24) 15:44 PDT NAPA — The earthquake that rolled through the Bay Area and beyond Sunday is suspected of striking along a little-known section of the West Napa Fault in the seismically active North Bay region, where parallel faults have been rupturing for millions of years, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Scientists said early-detection equipment had sent out alerts of imminent ground shaking to distant locations, raising the possibility that a more extensive system could one day give precious seconds of warning that would save lives.

A network of seismographs maintained by the USGS and UC Berkeley indicated that the quake ruptured underground at a depth of 6.7 miles – typical for temblors in the Bay Area. The Geological Survey said late Sunday that the magnitude was 6.0, though at times during the day it said the quake had been measured at 6.1.

The quake appears to have ruptured along the Browns Valley section of the West Napa Fault, about 3 miles northwest of American Canyon, said USGS seismologist David Oppenheimer…Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle

Short update on Bárðarbunga volcano at 12:07 UTC

(by Jón Frímann) This is a short update on Bárðarbunga volcano. Due to the fast change that is now taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano this information is going to get outdated quickly.

  • Earthquake activity now is extremely dense. With 3 to 5 earthquakes taking place every second (best estimate that I have made).
  • Earthquakes have increased in magnitude.
  • General activity appears to have increased in Bárðarbunga volcano. Even if no major eruption has yet taken place.
  • There is currently no signs of this activity stopping any time soon.
  • The dyke in Bárðarbunga volcano continues to get longer and wider, it is now over 40 km long (I think). Formation of this dyke has slowed due to more difficult crust in the area he is now in (that means more earthquakes).

Read more from Iceland Geology | Latest updates from Iceland Geology

Strong magnitude-6.6 quake hits south-central Peru

21:23.
Lima, Aug. 24. A strong earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale jolted the Andean region of Ayacucho in south-central Peru on Sunday afternoon.

Peru’s Geophysical Institute, or IGP, said the tremor struck about 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) of the Coracora city, in Ayacucho’s Lucanas province, at 18:21 local time (23:21 GMT).

The state-run agency said the 6.6-magnitude quake occurred at a depth of 108 kilometers (67.1 miles)…Read more from Andina (Peru News Agency)