Category Archives: infrastructure

Network Neutrality “undo” vote “passes” at FCC: part II of the demonstrations

Well, there was a screenwriter’s “change in plans” today (as in Hauge’s screenwriting classes), and I did make it to the demonstrations around 10:30 AM.

I made two more videos:

1:  Note: the call to do things “collectively” and “keep the eye on the prize”.  Also the call to “hold on”, like us little bloggers would all get blocked tomorrow.  The Left likes scare tactics. The speaker sounds so authoritarian himself, ever much so as Trump or Pence, but on a different side!

 

2:  (some old time religion maybe, or solidarity?  — “Hold On”)

We all know that the FCC vote took place and Ajit Pai “won” by 3-2.  There was a small security disruption reported later; I saw no evidence of this outside except for one or two Secret Service cars.  (ICE is across the street.)

One of the most succinct summaries is on Yahoo, here,  I’ve talked about some of the more controversial (especially Left-wing) predictions on other posts (see the Pingback on yesterday’s post here).   I’m still in the Cato-like libertarian camp on this one.

As to my opening comment, my condo building had a scheduled power outage this morning because Dominion Energy, with little noticed, did a major grid upgrade, including underground cable replacement. I think that there is some security-oriented concern over the need to harden the grid with new neutral grounding circuitry to protect it from Carrington-sized solar storms (we dodged one just barely in July 2012)  and possibly terrorism or enemy attack (E3-level EMP).  (I’ve blogged in detail about this on the news commentary blog mentioned in the pingback above.) Dominion is said to be one of the better companies in taking this seriously.  Dominion Energy ran TV ads on WJLA7 and CNN that seemed to be automatically selected on Cox (at least) by viewer zipcode, right before this upgrade — I say this noting that the more “mainstream” media outlets seem very squeamish about discussing this topic seriously.  Since I’m new to the building, I was fastidious about disconnecting and shutting things down first, but it seems as thought the power in high rise buildings is re-energized slowly by floors to prevent surges.  People who aren’t retired like me don’t have the luxury of being home and being that cautious with their gear (which for me is critical “infrastructure” for my “second career”).  The outage was much shorter than predicted, about three hours.  The power came on literally as I returned home from the demonstrations.  Cable and Internet and everything else came back very quickly (more quickly than it would have in the house I had sold.)

(Posted; Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 5 PM RST)

 

 

A day trip to the area near a nuclear power plant, while the nation sleeps on power grid security, as possble war with North Korea looms

Today I visited Flag Ponds Nature Park, about ¾  mile north of Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, at 50 miles from Washington DC, north of Lusby, MD.

I just wanted to do a video related to concerns over power grid security, that I have discussed elsewhere, most recently with North Korea’s missile tests, which could (besides nuclear threats to the homeland) lead to threats to the power grid (E3) and electronics (E1).

You can drive off MD 4 toward the plant, some distance, despite the trespassing signs warning of arrest, until you can see some of the work buildings, then there is a gate (you would think it would be closer to Rt 4).  There is supposed to be a visitor’s center but it apparently only in the secured area (like on a military base).  The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission is about 1500 feet inland.

You can see some of the layout from the beach at Flag Ponds, especially the fishing wharf.  Presumably the US Coast Guard watches the area.

1

2

3

In 1982, I visited the nuclear power plant in Glen Rose, TX with the Sierra Club before it opened.  It required a night of camping out. In 1988 I’d have a job interview for the place.

Wikipedia aerial of the Calvert Cliffs plant.

(Posted: Monday, December 11, 2017 at 8 PM EDT)

Small transformer fire near local businesses in northern VA might highlight power grid vulnerabilities

When I tried to go to dinner at Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City in Arlington VA early this evening, I found a power outage and fire trucks on Fern St and in the alley behind the businesses.

I was told there had been a small transformer fire.

It is conceivable that these can be caused by hackers, according to Ted Koppel’s book “Lights Out”.

Clip 1

Clip 2

(Posted: Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 at 10 PM EST)