Black start is the code name used in the power industry to describe the procedure for getting the grid back online after an EMP attack or a direct hit from an X-Class solar flare.
EMPs are possible, but direct hits from super flares are inevitable ˗ every 150 years on average. The last one was 155 years ago. The next one? No one knows, but it’s coming, and engineers say the grid is doomed.
TRANSFORMERS ARE THE PROBLEM
The large transformers at each generating system are not designed to handle the surge of current that would back-flow into them from thousands of miles of power lines, acting as antennae. If an EMP or super flare were to hit the Earth today, these transformers would blow up, and our lights would go out for a very long time. Engineers say it could take several years to replace them, and the consequences would be apocalyptic.
There is no other word to describe the collapse of modern civilization that would follow the long-term loss of electricity. Mankind would say goodbye to lights, refrigerators, furnaces, water from pipes, sewage disposal, trash removal, television, Internet, telephones, computers, hospitals, pharmacies, credit cards, banks, grocery stores, gasoline stations, automobiles, trains, air travel, and police protection. The worst suffering would occur in cities and suburbs. It has been estimated that 80% of the population would perish within a few months. What little might be left of our high-tech civilization would collapse into a new agrarian age. Few of us would make the transition.
“It would literally paralyze all the United States, not just for a day or an hour, but for months to years.”
~~ Michio Kaku, Professor of Theoretical Physics, City College of New York
“Severe geomagnetic storms have the potential to cause long-duration outages to widespread areas of the North American grid.”~~ North American Electric Reliability Corporation and the US Department of Energy, High Impact, Low Frequency Event Risks to the North American Bulk Power System (June, 2010)
Summary: Eventually, possibly within the next decade, Earth will be hit by a solar burst that will knock out the world’s power grids for months or years.~~ Severe Space Weather Events: Understanding Societal & Economic Impacts, December 2008, National Academy of Sciences in collaboration with NASA
When we began research for this documentary we naively thought it was our mission to inform government and industry leaders about the need to protect the grid, but we were in for a shock. After further research, we discovered that everything we were hoping to bring to the attention of these people was already known to them. The public may have been in the dark (pun intended), but our leaders have known about this for nearly two decades. In fact, we learned that some of them have taken steps to insure that they will survive what they consider to be an inevitable apocalypse, but they are doing very little to protect the rest of us.
The second shock was that many of the people who are responsible for protecting the grid from EMPs and solar storms publicly pretend that there is nothing to worry about. This documentary will show that such assurances are not even close to the truth, and that pretended preparedness has become the most serious aspect of the problem. If those we trust to protect us are trying to cover up their failure or even if they are just trying to avert public panic, either way we are woefully unprotected ˗ while our rendezvous with the sun (or an EMP) is inexorably approaching.
There have been other documentaries and books on the vulnerability of the power grid, but all of them have uncritically accepted the assumption that government and industry are doing everything possible to protect us. No one has had the courage to challenge that assumption. This program will change that.
As mentioned previously, engineers in the power industry use the phrase black start to describe the procedure for getting the grid back on line after it has been shut down or knocked out. In that scenario, it is assumed that the primary transformers will still be functional and that it will be possible to bring the system back into service one segment at a time. However, if the transformers are destroyed by either EMPs or solar storms, it would take several years to replace them. Power companies have no scenario for dealing with that.
The purpose of this documentary is to create the momentum necessary to require retrofitting the transformers with protective devices (currently available) so a black start is possible. For that reason, we have chosen this phrase for our title. Black Startsymbolizes, not the chaotic end of civilization, but a timely restoration of electrical power that sustains our way of life.
PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION
This program is being produced by G. Edward Griffin and Patrea Patrick, who are well known for their award-winning documentaries. DVDs will be available but, because we want to get this information to the public as quickly as possible, the program eventually will be placed on the Internet for free viewing. The anticipated release date is 2014 October 15.