Nuclear War Today Threatens Meltdown of Computerized Civilization
–by John Lewallen,
March 23, 2018
Since the most recent high-altitude nuclear H-bomb tests in the 1960s, the very nature of the threat of nuclear war has shifted and evolved. Now fission bombs such as those which destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 are used as triggers to detonate modern thermonuclear, fusion, or H-bombs of such enormous destructive power they are outlawed and condemned by 122 nations as instruments of omnicide, which could destroy everything if used.
On top of this well-known but underestimated danger, now there are thermonuclear bombs designed to explode at high altitude and emit a lot of gamma rays, creating a very brief and powerful electromagnetic pulse covering entire continents and satellites in line of sight, which could actually melt all unprotected computer chips, without apparently harming any living being.
We’re talking about the Meltdown Bomb, massive computer chip meltdown. Electrical grids are very vulnerable to high-altitude nuclear EMP.
In the nuclear confrontations today involving the United States threatening North Korea, China and Russia, all “players” assume that the others probably have high-altitude nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons in satellites, ready to melt many or most computer chips in line of sight if detonated or attacked.
A high-altitude nuclear EMP attack wouldn’t harm any person directly, but it could literally melt the computer chips essential to autos, nuclear power plants, aircraft, satellites, and so much else.
The most authoritative information about the threat of high-altitude nuclear electromagnetic weapons to the United States comes not from “whistleblowers” but government insiders who have studied and worked with nuclear EMP weapons since the 1962 FISHBOWL series of high-altitude H-bomb tests over the Pacific surprised all by damaging and destroying electronics in Hawaii, 800 miles away.
William R. Graham was among the first analysts of nuclear EMP as an Air Force lieutenant at the Air Force Weapons Lab in 1963. Now, Dr. Graham is one of the world’s foremost experts on nuclear EMP. As Chair of the Congressional EMP Commission, he has access to all information in the government, classified or unclassified, needed to accurately judge the threat of high-altitude nuclear EMP to the U.S. homeland. As a weapon scientist, he has extensive experience designing and testing nuclear EMP bombs.
On June 2, 2017, Dr. Graham posted, “North Korea Nuclear EMP Attack: An Existential Threat” on <38North.org>, the website of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University. This fully-documented analysis reports “…the consensus view of EMP experts who have advanced degrees in physics and electrical engineering along with several decades of experience in the field—with access to classified data throughout that time—and who have conducted EMP tests on a wide variety of electronic systems, beginning in 1963.”
The consensus view of nuclear EMP experts is that the design and deployment of “super-EMP” bombs, and the ever-growing vulnerability of computerized civilization, gives North Korea the ability to threaten the very existence of the United States with a single well-placed high-altitude nuclear EMP bomb.
“While most analysts are fixated on when in the future North Korea will develop highly reliable intercontinental ballistic missiles, guidance systems, and reentry vehicles capable of striking a US city, the present threat from EMP is largely ignored,” Dr. Graham wrote in his June, 2017 article. “…An EMP attack could be made by a North Korean satellite. The design of an EMP or even a super-EMP could be relatively small and lightweight….Such a device could fit inside North Korea’s satellites that presently orbit the Earth.”
Super-EMP bombs, nuclear bombs designed to emit a lot of gamma rays which become the three-phase electromagnetic pulse, have yet to be field-tested. There has not been a nuclear detonation above 30 kilometers on Earth since 1962. Outside of Dr. Graham and his colleagues, only a few independent observers refer to high-altitude nuclear EMP weapons.
A notable exception is North Korea. In September, 2017, after detonating underground what they said was a powerful thermonuclear weapon, North Korea said it could now impose a high-altitude nuclear EMP attack on the U.S. homeland. Later in 2017, North Korea threatened to detonate a “massive” nuclear weapon above the Pacific Ocean. If detonated above 30 kilometers in altitude, it could be the first computer-age demonstration of nuclear EMP.
The most obvious indefensible threat—a threat the U.S. can never defend the homeland against—is a satellite nuclear EMP bomb disguised as one of the more than 1,700 satellites now in orbit.
Since 2001, the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack has advised the government about “nuclear EMP threat to military systems and civilian critical infrastructures.”
In its 2004 Report, the EMP Commission chose a nuclear EMP attack scenario when “a Russian ‘spy satellite’ explodes over the central United States, releasing a high altitude electromagnetic pulse that blankets the entire continent.”
This EMP would melt and destroy computer chips, creating a computerized civilization meltdown that really is unimaginable. In the clinical language of the Report on page 399:
“The effect of a HEMP (high-altitude nuclear EMP) attack on the continental U.S. would be devastating, causing several trillions of dollars of damage (by conservative estimates) in cascading failures of interdependent infrastructures. The primary avenue for destruction would be through electrical power and telecommunications, on which all other infrastructures, including energy, transportation, banking and finance, water, and emergency services, depend.
“The cumulative effect of infrastructure failures would effectively send the country back in time. The majority of the U.S. would be without electrical power. Telephones, televisions and radios would be inoperative, and fuel/energy would be scarce. Most cars would not work, and public transportation—plane, rail, and bus, would be immobilized. Banking and financial services would become unavailable, and the amount in one’s wallet or purse would define their liquid worth. At the same time, emergency services would have trouble functioning and responding to the disaster.”
The 2004 Congressional EMP Commission Report concluded, “National leaders must face the looming EMP threat immediately and develop measures that will reduce the likelihood of an EMP strike, maintain the military advantage in the event of theater attack, and increase the nation’s chance for surviving a homeland attack. Through diplomacy, hardening of critical systems, training, and the establishment of industry standards to ensure future procurement of EMP-resilient systems, America can prevail against one of the most serious near-term threats.”
Since at least 1997, when the Congressional EMP Hearings held by Rep. Curt Weldon brought their work on EMP weapons to light, Dr. Graham and his colleagues have documented the same urgent story: wake up America to the threat of high-altitude nuclear EMP! Always, they say the nation’s computerized infrastructure can be effectively protected at affordable cost, and emergency teams can be prepared to deal with widespread computer destruction, IF the U.S. government will act.
Instead, there seems to be a national denial of the existence of this “existential threat.” Apparently, only critical military response systems have been “hardened” to withstand EMP, creating the absurd image of a nation completely shut down by EMP with a nuclear response option surviving.
I have some theories about why high-altitude nuclear EMP is a “taboo topic” in all U.S. political circles. I do believe the public deserves more of the great, accurate information about nuclear EMP shared by Dr. William R. Graham and his colleagues.
Nuclear War Today Threatens Meltdown of Computerized Civilization