After reading several dozen reports on EMP effects of nuclear explosions and viewing archived government footage of nuclear weapons testing I have come up empty handed.

As for example let us assume 1-5 megaton hydrogen bomb at an altitude sufficient so that the line of sight would be the continental U.S. I use line of sight as straight lines extending from the fireball.

Some reports say only minor disturbance. And Other reports say all transformers and all electronics that does not belong to the military with the exception of some automobiles. With manufacturing electronics , communications electronics and networking equipment destroyed. In addition to all high voltage transformers, nuclear plant cooling transformers and electronic control. All aviation, train , trucking distribution centers electronics. Air and cooling equipment as well as gas distribution , water and sewage treatment electronics.

One source I found said the disturbance would actually be no different than a powerful lightning storm and pale in comparison to a Solar Coronal Event and that the danger has been overblown in the media. While other sources like National Geographic say it would be the end of civilization and no country on earth would have the manufacturing ability to replace even the transformers needed much less the electronics. They site South Africa's rolling blackouts as an example of how hard it is to get transformers let alone electronics.

Are there any reliable sources or is this one of those hush hush topics understood perhaps only by our military people?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I wouldn't say it is "hush hush" topic, but it is quite morbid one. \$\endgroup\$ – Maple Jul 9 '18 at 0:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Detonate a hydrogen bomb in the ionosphere and watch what happens. \$\endgroup\$ – KingDuken Jul 9 '18 at 1:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tony answered the question .......no further comments necessary \$\endgroup\$ – Sedumjoy Jul 9 '18 at 3:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Look up something called Starfish Prime. It took out street lights in Hawaii, even though it was a long distance away and well over the horizon. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jul 10 '18 at 18:34

You can expect any electronics with cables to get approx 50kV/m for E1 impulse to fail unless they have TVS type protection on those ports.

Power line responses are estimated by the LF E3 pulse at 85V/km.



| improve this answer | |
  • \$\begingroup\$ The report answers all my questions....wish I would have found that before .....nice find Tony the rocket scientist \$\endgroup\$ – Sedumjoy Jul 9 '18 at 3:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is actually pretty scary. I had never looked into this before. \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith Jul 10 '18 at 20:24

Smart phones will survive.

Most basestations will survive, because they involve lightning-strike-survival mindset in the cabling, bonding the various external metal pieces into one shield, etc.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.