"U.S. Risks National Blackout From Small-Scale Attack"

"Federal analysis says sabotage of nine key substations is sufficient for broad outage."

"The U.S. could suffer a coast-to-coast blackout if saboteurs knocked out just nine of the country's 55,000 electric-transmission substations on a scorching summer day, according to a previously unreported federal analysis.

The study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission concluded that coordinated attacks in each of the nation's three separate electric systems could cause the entire power network to collapse, people familiar with the research said.

A small number of the country's substations play an outsize role in keeping power flowing across large regions. The FERC analysis indicates that knocking out nine of those key substations could plunge the country into darkness for weeks, if not months."

Rebecca Smith reports for the Wall St. Journal March 12, 2014.

SEE ALSO:

"Regulators to Impose New Security Rules on Electric Utilities" (Wall St. Journal)

"Assault on California Power Station Raises Alarm on Potential for Terrorism" (Wall St. Journal)

"Snipers Won't Blackout US Power Grid, But Sun May: Kemp" (Reuters)

"Following Attack on PG&E Substation, Bill Requires California Utilities to Beef Up Security" (NBC Bay Area)

"Sophisticated But Low-Tech Power Grid Attack Baffles Authorities" (Los Angeles Times)

"California Power Company To Upgrade Security at Substations" (UPI)

Thursday, March 13, 2014