President Trump has ordered federal government agencies to harden the nation’s infrastructure against potentially devastating attacks by a nuclear-bomb-produced electromagnetic pulse, or EMP.
“The federal government must foster sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective approaches to improving the nation’s resilience to the effects of EMPs,” Mr. Trump stated in an executive order signed Tuesday.
EMP is produced from nuclear blasts, special electronic weapons or solar storms and can damage or disrupt critical infrastructure.
The order notes that a high-altitude EMP can be set off by a nuclear detonation at about 24 miles above Earth or higher. Another danger is an EMP caused by a natural sun-caused geomagnetic storm. Both can affect electronics over large geographic areas.
The directive sets U.S. policy to prepare for the EMP incidents through governmentwide efforts and encouraging the private sector, which owns much of the electrical infrastructure, to adopt protective measures. The three U.S. electric grids are owned by private utilities that to date have been reluctant to spend the money on the necessary