The cold War nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapon could damage power grids.
Scientists also emphasize that a nuclear bomb that hits a ground target is much more worrisome. The power industry doesn’t really have any standards or tools to handle “black sky events’’ such as an extreme cyber or EMP attack, or even conventional war, but power companies have made a few moves to protect against electromagnetic interference. Some grid operators and transmission infrastructure owners are putting in place so-called Faraday enclosures, shields of conductive material used to protect electronic equipment and facilities. Utilities have also started stockpiling spare parts to replace any that are damaged by an EMP event, storms or other disasters.
Fox news reported that an electromagnetic pulse is a side effect of an atmospheric nuclear detonation that could potentially damage or destroy all electrical devices and the electric grid within the line of sight of the blast. The higher the explosion, the wider the effect. A North Korean missile carrying a nuclear weapon exploding over the U.S. could cause an electromagnetic pulse. The result of an electromagnetic pulse wouldn’t just mean no iPhones for a few hours. If enough electric power transformer stations are affected, it would mean no power to millions of people for weeks or even many months.