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Infragard EMP SIG

Dupont Summit 2012 - InfraGard EMP SIG Auditorium Panels

Place: Auditorium at Carnegie Institution for Science, DC 

Introduction by Chuck Manto, National EMP SIG Chairman: Chuck Manto, opens the conference with an overview of InfraGard, the EMP SIG and the Dupont Summit. He introduces the topic of high-impact threats by discussing the emotional and economic difficulty of addressing large-scale disasters. He makes the comparison to Hurricane Sandy in that while we may not have the resources to deal with one more major problem, we still need to prepare for the coming storm.

 

EMP Action, Too Little Too Late? by, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security: Dr. Peter Pry, formerly a CIA analyst and staff to Congressman Bartlett and the EMP Commission he helped launch, reviewed the history of those trying to address this issue beginning with the formation of the EMP Commission to current day attempts at legislation to address the issues.

 

"House Resolution 762 and the Challenge to Effectively Engage the Nation on Infrastructure Security and Preparedness Issues" by, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett: Congressman Bartlett's long-term history of wrestling with high-impact threats to infrastructure such as the electric power grids parallels his long standing congressional leadership in energy security and the role of renewable energy. Congressman Bartlett reviewed the history of his involvement of both high-impact threats to critical infrastructure with special emphasis on manmade EMP and space weather along with his related interest in energy security. He answered audience questions and led questioning of other presenters throughout the morning session.

 

"InfraGard's Role in Infrastructure Security Across the Private Sector" by, Mr. Richard McFeely, FBI, Executive Assistant Director, Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch, FBI Executive Assistant Director, Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch: Mr. McFeely used his address as an opportunity to not only highlight the growing concern over cyber-security, but, announced a new program that the FBI is launching to work with the private sector to protect their networks using InfraGard as a major program vehicle. The announcement included the proposed use of automated tools to assist the private sector in learning about and reporting detrimental cyber incidents.

 

"EMP and Space Weather Grid Impacts - International Perspective" by, Dr. Chris Beck, Energy Infrastructure Security (EIS) Council: Dr. Beck provided an update of the three international conferences his organization led in the arena of extreme space weather and EMP. In each of the cases, a growing sense of concern and call for action has been noted with the Europeans appearing to be ahead of US policy makers on mitigation action.

 

"Engaging Utilities for Honest Appraisals of Grid Security" by, Thomas Popik, Foundation for Resilient Societies Chairman and NERC Geomagnetic Disturbance Task Force Observer: Chairman of the Foundation for Resilient Societies, outlined his interest and work as a private citizen to learn about electric grid unreliability and the need to protect it from even greater threats such as solar storms. His activity included a formal petition to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regarding the safety of nuclear power plants in the event of a long-term grid outage. Formal announcement of the disposition of his petition is expected by mid December 2012. He encouraged listeners to get further involved including providing comment to the current FERC call for comment on their proposed ruling that industry create standards to protect their infrastructure from geomagnetic disturbances.

 

"Lessons from Japan, Obtaining Openness of Stakeholders in the Fukushima Disaster Recovery" by, Mr. Yuki Karakawa, Japan Resilience Initiative Task Force Chairman: Chairman of the Japan Resilience Initiative Task Force, provided an in depth review of the nuclear disaster around the recent Fukushima Tsunami and quake. According to Mr. Karakawa, the similar resistance of government officials to fully engage this high-impact issue resulted in unnecessary deaths and continued exposure to toxic levels of radiation from the yet uncapped radioactive plants in Fukushima. He reviewed the need for local communities to be more resilient and for enhanced response capabilities. He emphasized the need for a constitutional change that would make it possible for Japan to issue an emergency declaration. All of this was not lost on the audience who assembled to hear him on this "Pearl Harbor Day".

 

"Latest Advances in Solar Storm Grid Impact Modeling and Mitigation" by, John Kappenman, Storm Analyisis: Mr. John Kappenman, a leader or participant in many of the FERC, NERC, EPRI, Academy of Sciences and NATO studies on the issue provided a quick update of the technical issues that the industry and FERC are considering as part of the proposed ruling. He gave an orientation as to why past extreme space weather predictions often failed to distinguish the most significant impacts on power grids and how the industry has been spotty in collecting and sharing data on impacts to transformers and generators. He continues to call for fuller and transparent data collection and analysis by power utilities while taking currently available measures to protect the long-lead time transformers and generators from damage. He mentioned some of the technologies that the inventors of these technologies would cover later in the afternoon. Mr. Kappenman is noted to be a consistent challenger to the industry's lack of standards and concern in this area and has borne the brunt of much of the resulting industry push-back.

 

"Local Planning and Mitigation for High Impact Threats" by, Mary Lasky, Howard County Community Emergency Response Network: Chair of the Howard County Community Emergency Response Network, spoke on local leadership's role in enhancing local sustainability in light of these high-impact threats to critical infrastructure. She heads the office of business continuity at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JH APL) in Laurel, MD that hosted one of the October 2011 workshops led by the InfraGard and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency that covered the medium impact scenario for extreme space weather. She discussed the challenge of engaging extreme disaster recovery scenarios and the steps she continues to take on furthering planning steps. Her main point was that local communities need to be more self-reliant for themselves and neighbors since outside help may be not be available for many months after a disaster which impacts the nation as a whole.

 

"BENS Study on Micro-grids for Military Bases" by, Jeff Weiss, Co-chairman of Distributed Sun: Mr. Weiss is an executive that leads finance and project management of solar micro-grid projects. He also has been active in the production of the Business Executives for National Security (BENS) report on micro-grids for military bases. After mentioning the key findings of the BENS report, he introduced the next speaker from DoD who addressed both the needs of DoD but the reliance DoD has on related civilian critical infrastructure.

 

"The Challenge of High-impact Disaster Mitigation and role of DoD" by, Assistant Secretary of Defense Dr. Paul Stockton: Assistant Secretary of Defense Dr. Paul Stockton is responsible for the DoD's support of civil government and related homeland defense support. He walked through the concern that DoD has for these issues not only for military bases and the ability of DoD to conduct its mission but, for the country as a whole that is equally dependent of civilian critical infrastructure for its operations. He emphasized the need for military bases and local communities to become more sustainable at the local level and shared experiences of failing to do enough in these areas. He profusely thanked InfraGard for keeping these conversations active between the private sector, federal, state and local authorities.

 

"Facilitating Contingency Planning for High-impact Disasters" by, Dr. Richard Andres, Energy Security Program Chair, NDU: Dr. Richard Andres, Energy Security Program Chair of NDU, was the lead host of the first comprehensive contingency planning on a nationwide collapse of infrastructure in October 2011 with InfraGard, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and the US House Congressional EMP Caucus. The consensus from those in these workshops and exercise was that in the event of a long term nationwide collapse, outside help would not be available in a timely manner. Therefore, local communities must be more capable of providing essential services such as power, communications, food, water and sanitation locally to the greatest extent possible. This creates an urgent and strong perceived need for local power generation and storage. He shared his experience in leading these conversations and noted why it was complicated. He also answered questions about how next steps might be encouraged without provoking resistance to the conversation by sounding either "too alarmist" or extreme on the issues.

 

"EMP Knots Untied – Common Misconceptions Regarding EMP" by, Dr. George Baker former DNA EMP Program Director: Dr. George Baker, the former head of the DoD Defense Nuclear Agency's EMP Program, discussed 7 persistent misconceptions about EMP as he expressed concern for the two primary critical infrastructures vulnerable to EMP and solar storms – electric power grids and telecommunications networks. Among the misconceptions were the tendency to either dismiss the threat altogether or exaggerate it. The fact-based middle ground position that shows substantial vulnerability of critical infrastructure can be demonstrated through science and engineering and is still in urgent need of mitigation. He emphasized the point made by others with technical backgrounds that engineering practices can be used to minimize both the effects of a solar storm and manmade EMP with little additional costs compared to trying to solve just one of those vulnerabilities alone. The slower geomagnetic storm pulses that create ground induced currents that can travel up through ground wires to short out transformers and other equipment are comparable to the high-altitude nuclear burst creation of E-3 pulses, whereas nuclear burst EMP E-2 pulses are similar to lightening and E-1 are nanosecond broadband pulses that can couple to equipment directly through air or through conductors such as power or communications wires. Competent engineering design can often make use of protection methods that can also protect against the E-1 pulses for relatively little additional cost.

 

"The Cyber Executive Order" by, Thomas Goldberg, Principal, Lineage Technologies: Mr. Thomas Goldberg, Principal of Lineage Technologies, commented on the difficulty Congress had in creating cyber-security legislation and the emerging presidential executive orders that are likely to be used as stop-gap measures. He also demonstrated various cyber attacks on infrastructure, such as an alleged Georgian attack on a Russian power generator that caused it to explode and kill over 20 people working nearby. The point that impacted the audience the most was his description of how code is etched into chips at the microscopic level that allows those who produce the chips to sell access to the computers using them in such a way that passwords and network security protocols are ineffective at protecting against intrusion. The only choice presented was to either live with little to no network security or bring back chip manufacturing back to the US. (A later presenter, Curt Massey, proposed a technical solution for blocking or reducing the effectiveness of etched back doors in chips.)

 

The Role of the new FERC Office of Energy Infrastructure Security and Proposed FERC Ruling on Geomagnetic Disturbance" by, Christy Walsh and Fred Faxvog, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): Ms. Christy Walsh, attorney from FERC, outlined the historic new call for a standard to protect electric power industry equipment from the effects of geomagnetic storms. She encouraged those watching to take what they learned from the conference in addition to what they experience in the private sector and local government as an opportunity to provide formal comments to FERC. FERC strongly appreciates comments from those outside of the utility industry since electric power users are usually under-represented at such calls for comment.

Dr. Fred Faxvog, a Senior Program Director from Emprimus and 40 year senior technical executive formerly of Honeywell, led a presentation from Emprimus about their new technology that can be used as protective devices for groups of transformers at substations. The cost benefits for day-to-day operations makes it possible for a utility to totally recover costs in less than two years. These systems just passed independent technical assessments and are beginning to be placed into further testing and service in grids in the Midwest in coordination with the transformer manufacturer ABB. This emerging technology unveiled at the conference will have a significant impact on policy that is emerging through the FERC initiative since solutions are not only possible but, cost effective.

 

"Energy and National Security: Protecting our Ability to Use Electricity" by, The Honorable James R. Woolsey, Former Director of the CIA: The Honorable James R. Woolsey, provided extremely candid comments about the severity of the vulnerability of US critical infrastructure, and the inability of most political and bureaucratic leaders to imagine how adversaries can relatively easily cause a nationwide long-term power outage. His presentation's title, "Energy and National Security: Protecting Our Ability to Use Electricity", bridged both the need to protect large critical infrastructure systems and the need to make and store electricity locally through the use of micro-grids. He provided a further foundation for inventors of local power generation technology and their security.

 

Mr. John W. Spears, President, Sustainable Design Group, Inc. presented work he led as the architect for the 6400 sq.ft. Sustainable Energy Research Facility (SERF) next to Frostburg State University (FSU). SERF operates totally off-grid without any petroleum-based fuels or grid supplied electricity. SERF uses a combination of passive and active solar, geothermal, biomass, and wind turbine energy generation and energy storage in the form of heat, hot water, electric batteries and hydrogen. (Some of the research done at SERF has been in conjunction with IAN, LLC creating EMP-protected micro-grids and related shielding technology for telecommunications networks and data centers.) Mr. Spears also provided examples of off-grid town homes in Frederick, MD whose total cost of ownership is less than traditional on-grid homes.

 

Mr. Thomas Shaw, of Homogeneous Combustion Radical Ignition Technology International, LLC (HCRITI) and Mr. Steve Wood (TERPS) covered two categories of emerging technology, the first being a new type of combustion technology and the second being an advance in waste-to-energy technology. Quoting from his paper discussing patents issued to Dr. Blank, "Radical ignition engines utilize chemical processes to control and enhance fuel lean combustion by storing chemicals, called radical ignition species, between the engine combustion cycles. As a result, the fuel is burned more completely and at lower peak temperatures than in conventional engines, making possible 75% or greater reduction in NOx emissions, as well as improvements in fuel economy." This also makes it possible for flex-fuel engines to "enable highly stable and low-pollution combustion in the same multi-flex fuel engine over a very wide range of such fuels, with very little cycle to cycle variation." This technology was tested at Argonne National Laboratories with support from HCRITI and IAN, LLC through a grant won through FSU and the Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program (MIPS).
The second technology area reflects a patent pending process that significantly improves on the anaerobic digestion technology from Instant Access Networks, LLC (IAN), Total Energy Renewable Power Systems, LLC (TERPS) and Homogeneous Combustion Radical Ignition Technology International, LLC (HCRITI). In anaerobic digesters, bacteria break the large organic molecules in the waste down into methane. The resulting biogas can then be burned in engines to power generators for electric power supply. A series of co-inventions by IAN, TERPS and HCRITI improve biogas yield by 30% or more compared to conventional digestion processes and reduces waste carbon. This technology thus has the potential to reduce wastewater treatment grid-dependence and/or to act as a power source for any number of desired applications, while at times being able to also sell energy back to the power grid. Anaerobic digesters are combined with a variety of other technologies, such as an emerging breakthrough engine technology, smart micro-grid controllers, and wind plus solar energy augmentations to provide reliable and cost-effective electricity.

 

The Inventors Challenge Panel provided four very brief sets of technology that could be used to provide EMP, space weather and cyber hardened local systems of power and communications.

Mr. Curt Massey, CEO of STT, (STtealth Shield) and Ms. Wendy Richards, Chief Business Development Officer, Sky Catcher Solutions (Cy Key), unveiled a new combination of cyber security protection equipment. The Cy Key provides a portable systems device with its own secured private partition capable of hosting multiple operating systems that allows a user to turn any computer into a secure node that even the hosting computer can not intrude. It uses two layers of encryption and blends into the Sttealth Shield technology that encrypts individual nodes on a sub-net or the Internet so that unauthorized users can "not observe or ascertain activity". They also are not responsive to port probes. These can become breakthrough elements to a smart grid system and secure communications within an EMP protected network.

 

Cyber Education Review Panel, Director Margaret Maxson, DHS Office for National Cyber Security Education Strategy and Dr. Clay Wilson, Director of Cyber-security Policy Studies, UMUC: Discussed recent advances in cyber education. Director Maxson presented her office's work in promoting cyber security awareness and education with special emphasis on the National Initiative for CyberSecurity Education (NICE) in connection with NIST that included the National Cybersecurity Workforce Framework at http://csrc.nist.gov/nice/framework/ . She announced a new website that is planned to go live the following week. Her work is intended to be a society wide initiative with industry as well as K-20 education. 150 universities have achieved "center of excellence" certification from DHS and more are expected. Dr. Clay Wilson, reviewed the fast growing graduate program he leads at UMUC and discussed the role programs such as his can integrate into active participation in problem solving cyber and infrastructure security experienced by industry and government.

 

"The Role of PSO, academia and InfraGard" Dr. Paul J. Rich, President, Policy Studies Organization (PSO): Provided the audience with an overview of the work of the PSO, its Dupont Summit and the historic ties to the very auditorium of the Carnegie Institution for Science where these sessions took place. The Summit brings leaders from government, business and the citizenry to discuss technology and science impacting critical infrastructure, national security, research, education and innovation along with their social implications. Dr. Rich noted how the topics and presenters of the InfraGard sessions represented pragmatic policy and technology issues fit well into the model embraced by the PSO and welcomed the group to continued participation in future Dupont Summit conferences.

 

New EMP threats, mitigation and testing capabilities by, Dr. Bill Joyce, Chairman and CEO of Advanced Fusion Systems: presented the most ambitious private sector EMP testing and manufacturing facility in development. He leads the management and investment of $60M into this state-of-the-art facility that will produce vacuum tube technology that will assist electric grid operators to protect not only against ground induced currents from solar storms or the E-3 pulses of HEMP, but, against the E-1 pulses of EMP whether produced by high-altitude nuclear burst covering large areas or pulsing devices that can disrupt or damage equipment at specific locations. The facility will be "capable of testing devices at line voltages up to 1.2 million VAC or VDC, under load conditions of up to 10MW, and in a sub-100 picosecond rise time pulsed electric field environment of >250 KV/m. " One of the AFS product lines is the Bi-tron™, a bi-directional electron tube family designed for AC power electronics switching and control operations rated to 1.2MV and current ratings in the hundreds of kiloAmps. The Bi-tron is unique not only for the broader range of frequencies (of E-1 through E-3) they protect against (especially in the low frequency range), but in the way it can reset and manage multiple events in rapid succession. The implications for protection as well as advanced weapons built on similar technology will undoubtedly compel the revision of current military specifications for at least some EMP protection technology.
Dr. Joyce answered questions from the audience and provided a sober assessment of the need for technology solutions and his own commitment to provide some of them through the technology his firm is bringing to market.

 

"Role of EMP SIG Advisory and Liaison Panels; EMP SIG facilitators and Next Steps" by, Chuck Manto: Closed out the sessions by reiterating the call for comments from FERC and FBI EAD Mr. McFeely. He also encouraged continued InfraGard participation of individuals from the broad range of government agencies and private sector firms represented in the conference. As an example of that continued collaboration, he announced some of the names of those serving as national advisory panel members in the EMP SIG and of those that have offered to do so pending completion of their InfraGard applications. Mr. Manto closed the session at 5:45PM and encouraged networking of attendees at the close.