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Volume 32, Issue 3

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Wednesday, 17 June 2015 05:00

Resiliency and the Nation’s Power Grid

Written by  Robert DiLossi

How long can the nation’s electrical power grid endure without a catastrophic event? It’s a question that energy and homeland security officials routinely ask – along with what they can do to prevent or mitigate such a calamity. Utilities and their corporate customers also wonder what they can and should do. Their concern is warranted for several scary reasons. First, the grid has been judged in “poor to fair condition and mostly below standard,” by the American Society of Civil Engineers. In early 2004, it gave the grid a D-plus grade when evaluating it for security and other vulnerabilities. The engineering trade group said a large portion of the system “exhibits significant deterioration.” It warned of a “strong risk of failure.” Second, cyber attackers are increasing their attempts to hack into the U.S. power grid software and they’re getting more sophisticated, warns the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Such attacks have been