We Are One Terrorist Attack Away from A Major Nationwide Blackout: What Should We Do?
15 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 1, 2018
Securing critical infrastructure from sophisticated cyber and physical attacks is a top national priority. As recent attacks on the Ukraine electric grid and Metcalf substation have demonstrated, coordinated and sophisticated attacks are a real threat to the nation’s electric grid. A well-planned and executed physical attack on critical substations can cause widespread blackouts that would last for months. Blackouts of that length would cripple the U.S. economy. This paper reviews government and industry initiatives to improve grid resiliency and shows that the current strategies are not sufficient to protect the nation’s electric grid. The authors propose a plan for reducing the number of critical substations through a combination of government mandates and market incentives to bring power generation closer to customers.
Keywords: risk management, infrastructure, electric grid
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