Aug 20, 2003

A question about the blackouts that still plagues me

Just one nagging question.

what caused it?

I saw that day, since I got local power back at about 6, some footage of a powerplant like thing, on fire, somewhere in NY/NJ.

I've seen what happens when large power grids go bad, I've been to large transformer stations which have blown up (to help clean up the mess, btw), I've seen them on fire, I've been to power plants and I grew up near a nuclear plant. There was a striking difference between what I've seen at any of those places and the footage I saw briefly the other day (CNN or ABC). There were a large number, say 6 fires, burning away, and some of them were coming out the tops of smokestacks! None of the fire looked electrical. It all looked black and sooty.

It's hard for me to understand how THAT situation occurs just because of a (lightning strike, faultry transmission line in OH, Quebecquois nationalist conspiracy).

although it is easy for me to understand out a suddenly burning smokestack can cause a serious and sudden problem in the electrical grid, especially if you launch some DOS attack or something at the computers that keep it up, or at least flowing free. All you have to do is succeed for what? [9 seconds apparently] while you take out a generator and block the system just long enough so it can't tell anyone.

There was a brownout here, maybe a half hour before we went black.

And why were [apparently 20] nuclear power plants turned off entirely? That seems a little dramatic, even with a shortage of outside power. Y'all do have generators at tne NUCLEAR plants that need power to operate, right?

Anyhow, back to my point. That was some serious helicopter footage of a power plant on fire, and that looked like a rather serious situation. Didn't look like a bomb, but it did look bad, so what the hell happenned to the story? You (politicians, newspeople, teachers) want people to not worry so much about terrorism? Try explaing those things that DO look like terrorism (Occams Razor) without belittleing my intelligence (even if my spelling is imperfect, it's mostly just typo's)

How does this fall on the possible side of Occams Razor? Because a few years ago just such an occurance was nigh predicted by a group of security experts who did hack into the power control network. If the generators can't talk to each other and they are getting too much demant/supply, they are supposed to each throw their massive circuit breakers and isolate themselves. There were a lot of circuit breakers that flew the other day, and the grid truly became holes tied together.

I love my county, I just have a hard time believing my government, lately.


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