10

Recommendations

Disruption of the U.S. power system can impose great economic costs, and in some circumstance can endanger lives. However, power outages have in general not given rise to “terror,” even on the part of those affected.

Chapter 1 identifies five different types of individuals and subnational groups that might wish to attack the transmission or distribution system. Of these, the one of greatest concern for this report is terrorist groups with significant capabilities and resources whose intent is to kill large numbers of people or cause widespread societal damage or harm.

Although there are many examples of terrorist and military attacks on power systems elsewhere in the world, to date international terrorists have shown limited interest in attacking the U.S. power grid. However, that should not be a basis for complacency. An attack that disrupted power across a wide geographic region and for an extended period could impose costs of hundreds of billions of dollars. If such attacks were repeated several times, or undertaken in conjunction with more conventional terrorist attacks designed to kill people, their impact could be considerably magnified.

Because electric power transmission and distribution systems are spread all across the country, often in very remote locations, they are vulnerable to attack. As explained in chapter 2, this vulnerability is exacerbated by the fact that, after years of underinvestment, these systems are already under stress and are now facing new demands for wheeling power in a competitive market that the system was not designed to support. As the discussions in Chapters 3, 4, and 5 make clear, knowledgeable terrorists could inflict considerable damage.

Chapters 6 and 7 explain that many of the modifications needed to reduce vulnerability are improvements that should be made to upgrade the system even without any threat of terrorism. Utilities, federal and state regulators, and others are gradually figuring out how to provide the needed incentives and cover the costs of such improvements in the new restructured industry.

There are also a variety of upgrades and redesigns that could be undertaken primarily to make the system more robust in the face of terrorism and to facilitate rapid recovery should an attack occur. But prioritizing and paying for such changes poses significant methodological and institutional challenges. First, expensive upgrades undertaken primarily in response to the threat of terrorism should be made only after a careful quantitative probabilistic assessment of costs and benefits. Second, the risk from terrorism faced by most individual utilities is smaller than the collective risk faced by U.S. society as a whole. Thus, the level of protective investment that may be optimal from the perspective of the national interest may be significantly higher than the level that makes sense for individual firms. This problem is not unique to the power industry, and it is a problem that has not yet been adequately addressed for any of this country’s vulnerable infrastructures that are owned and operated by private firms.

In the case of electric power delivery, there are several areas where federal funding is clearly justified and where adequate preparation for possible terrorist attacks is not likely to occur without federal involvement. The most obvious of these is investment in the development, construction, and stockpiling of compact, easily transported high-voltage restoration transformers and other key equipment of long delivery time. Conventional high-voltage transformers are the single most vulnerable component of the transmission and distribution system. They are difficult to move, not stockpiled in great numbers, and for the most part no longer made in this country. Acquiring new ones could take months or even longer if a substantial number were needed. Through the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the industry has done initial design work on a compact, easily transported replacement transformer. However, the development, construction, and stockpiling of a significant number of these devices will almost certainly not occur without substantial federal support and funding.

Clearly, U.S. utilities and state and federal governments should take all reasonable steps to ensure that the nation’s



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 108
10 Recommendations Disruption of the U.S. power system can impose great There are also a variety of upgrades and redesigns that economic costs, and in some circumstance can endanger could be undertaken primarily to make the system more lives. However, power outages have in general not given rise robust in the face of terrorism and to facilitate rapid recovery to "terror," even on the part of those affected. should an attack occur. But prioritizing and paying for such Chapter 1 identifies five different types of individuals and changes poses significant methodological and institutional subnational groups that might wish to attack the transmission challenges. First, expensive upgrades undertaken primarily or distribution system. Of these, the one of greatest concern in response to the threat of terrorism should be made only for this report is terrorist groups with significant capabilities after a careful quantitative probabilistic assessment of costs and resources whose intent is to kill large numbers of people and benefits. Second, the risk from terrorism faced by most or cause widespread societal damage or harm. individual utilities is smaller than the collective risk faced by Although there are many examples of terrorist and U.S. society as a whole. Thus, the level of protective invest- military attacks on power systems elsewhere in the world, ment that may be optimal from the perspective of the national to date international terrorists have shown limited interest interest may be significantly higher than the level that makes in attacking the U.S. power grid. However, that should not sense for individual firms. This problem is not unique to the be a basis for complacency. An attack that disrupted power power industry, and it is a problem that has not yet been across a wide geographic region and for an extended period adequately addressed for any of this country's vulnerable could impose costs of hundreds of billions of dollars. If such infrastructures that are owned and operated by private firms. attacks were repeated several times, or undertaken in con- In the case of electric power delivery, there are several junction with more conventional terrorist attacks designed areas where federal funding is clearly justified and where to kill people, their impact could be considerably magnified. adequate preparation for possible terrorist attacks is not Because electric power transmission and distribution sys- likely to occur without federal involvement. The most obvi- tems are spread all across the country, often in very remote ous of these is investment in the development, construction, locations, they are vulnerable to attack. As explained in and stockpiling of compact, easily transported high-voltage Chapter 2, this vulnerability is exacerbated by the fact that, restoration transformers and other key equipment of long after years of underinvestment, these systems are already delivery time. Conventional high-voltage transformers are under stress and are now facing new demands for wheel- the single most vulnerable component of the transmission ing power in a competitive market that the system was not and distribution system. They are difficult to move, not designed to support. As the discussions in Chapters 3, 4, and stockpiled in great numbers, and for the most part no longer 5 make clear, knowledgeable terrorists could inflict consider- made in this country. Acquiring new ones could take months able damage. or even longer if a substantial number were needed. Through Chapters 6 and 7 explain that many of the modifications the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the industry needed to reduce vulnerability are improvements that should has done initial design work on a compact, easily transported be made to upgrade the system even without any threat of replacement transformer. However, the development, con- terrorism. Utilities, federal and state regulators, and others struction, and stockpiling of a significant number of these are gradually figuring out how to provide the needed incen- devices will almost certainly not occur without substantial tives and cover the costs of such improvements in the new federal support and funding. restructured industry. Clearly, U.S. utilities and state and federal governments should take all reasonable steps to ensure that the nation's 108

OCR for page 108
RECOMMENDATIONS 109 transmission and distribution systems are robust in the face tem) should be made from the perspective of the collective of possible attack and can be rapidly restored if such an national interest. attack does ever occur. But that alone is not sufficient. Our Because the level of security that is economically rational society continues to become ever more dependent on electric for most infrastructure operators will be less than the level power. Even without the threat of terrorism, there is a risk of that is optimal from the perspective of the collective national occasional power outages, some of which will be widespread interest, the DHS should develop a coherent plan to address and may last for some time. Terrorism increases the prob- the incremental cost of upgrading and protecting critical ability of both the extent and the duration of such outages infrastructure to that higher level. and could cause them to occur at particularly inconvenient In the specific context of electric power delivery, the DHS or damaging moments. Thus, in addition to strengthening the should: grid, society should also focus on identifying critical services and developing strategies to keep them operating in the event Recommendation 1 Take the lead and work with the of power outages--be they accidental or the result of terrorist DOE and with relevant private parties to develop and attack. These issues are discussed in Chapter 8, and recom- stockpile a family of easily transported high-voltage mendations are offered there to reduce future vulnerability. recovery transformers and other key equipment. There are many technologies and strategies that could be Although the expected benefits to the nation of such a employed to make the power system more robust in the face program are difficult to quantify, they would certainly of terrorist attack, speed service restoration after an attack, be many times its cost if the transformers are needed and continue the provision of critical services while the (see Chapters 3, 6, and 9). power is out. They all cost money, often much more money Recommendation 2 Work to promote the adop- than society can afford. The best way to make existing tion of many other technologies and organizational approaches cheaper, and to develop new, even more effective changes, identified in this report, that could reduce and affordable approaches, is through research. Chapter 9 the vulnerability of the power delivery system and discusses the current state of research for electric power and facilitate its more rapid restoration should an attack presents a set of recommendations for research needs and occur (see Chapters 6 and 7). strategies. Two key points became apparent as the commit- Recommendation 3 Work with the power industry tee explored these issues. First, with only a few exceptions, to better clarify the role of power system opera- the research that is needed to address the broad problems tors after terrorist events through the development faced by the transmission and distribution system, and the of memoranda of understanding and planned and research that would be conducted specifically to address rehearsed response programs that include designating the threat of terrorism, are largely the same, and the latter appropriate power-system personnel as first respond- cannot be adequately undertaken without a balanced and ers (see Chapters 7 and 8). comprehensive approach to the former. Second, measured in Recommendation 4 Offer assistance to the Federal a number of ways, the current level of power system research Energy Regulatory Commission, to state public ser- investment is much smaller than it should be. This deficiency vice commissions, and to other public and private has long been recognized by those who work in and with the parties in finding ways to ensure that utilities and industry. However, agreeing on institutional arrangements transmission operators have appropriate incentives to that can significantly increase the levels of research invest- accelerate the process of upgrading power delivery ment in this field has been a persistent problem. Chapter 9 and eliminating its most obvious vulnerabilities (see notes one possible strategy, but the committee did not have Chapter 6). a unanimous view on how best to proceed. Recommendation 5 Work with the Department of Details on specific research needs can be found in the Energy and the Office of Management and Budget discussion in Chapter 9. to substantially increase the level of federal basic In the sections below, the recommendations from Chap- technology research investment in power delivery. ters 6 through 9 are sorted according to the agency or insti- The committee notes that (1) much of what is needed tution that should take primary responsibility for handling has the nature of a "public good" that the private the issue. sector will not develop on its own; (2) current levels of research investment are woefully inadequate; and (3) most of the system's vulnerabilities to terrorism SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE are integrally linked to other more general problems DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY and vulnerabilities of the system and cannot be The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should resolved in isolation (see Chapter 9). develop a strategy to assess how secure inherently vulner- Recommendation 6 Take the lead in initiating plan- able infrastructure (such as the electric power delivery sys- ning at the state and local level to reduce the vulner- ability of critical services in the event of disruption

OCR for page 108
110 TERRORISM AND THE ELECTRIC POWER DELIVERY SYSTEM of conventional power supplies, and offer pilot and Recommendation 7.4 The Department of Homeland incremental funding to implement these activities Security and the Edison Electric Institute should jointly where appropriate (see Chapter 8). develop programs and offer training for key utility person- Recommendation 7 Develop a national inventory nel to respond to both conventional security threats and of portable generation equipment that can be used potential chemical or biological attacks on the electric to power critical loads during an extended outage. infrastructure. The training should use risk assessments to Explore public and private strategies for building and develop increased awareness of the possible threats and maintaining an adequate inventory of such equipment should provide specific training for the use of protection (see Chapter 8). equipment, detection and sensor equipment, and emergency decontamination procedures. It is essential that existing drills and restoration procedures be expanded to address potential ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS biological or chemical agents which may be part of an attack While the seven recommendations listed above are the launched to disrupt electric operations and infrastructures. committee's primary recommendations to DHS, other spe- Time Scale for Action: 13 Years cific recommendations are made in Chapters 6 through 9, both to DHS and to other key players. These are reproduced Recommendation 6.4 Local load-serving entities should below sorted by responsible actor and ordered approximately work with local private and public sector groups to identify in terms of how long the completion of each action will critical customers and plan a series of technical and organi- likely require. zational arrangements that can facilitate restricted service to There is one other subject on which the committee does critical customers during times of system stress. DHS could not make a recommendation but considers that a comment is accelerate this process by initiating and partially funding a in order. Chapter 5 notes that the power industry faces a more few local and regional demonstrations that could provide serious aging-workforce problem than that confronting many examples of best practice for other regions across the coun- U.S. industries. There are growing shortages among both the try. Time Scale for Action: 2 years craft and engineering workforce. This issue is also discussed briefly in the context of graduate education and research in Recommendation 8.1 DHS and/or DOE should initiate Chapter 9. Although the committee makes no specific recom- and fund several model demonstration assessments each at mendations on these issues, it is clear that, without significant the level of cities, counties, and states. These assessments attention, the problem of inadequate human resources will should examine systematically the region's vulnerability to become increasingly serious and over time could make it extended power outages and develop cost-effective strategies more difficult to achieve the various objectives outlined in that can be adopted to reduce or, over time, eliminate such this report. The industry itself will have to take the lead in vulnerabilities. These model assessments should involve addressing the shortage of craft workers, taking steps to per- all relevant public and private sector parties providing law suade new entrants to the job market that a career in power enforcement, water, gas, sewerage, health care, communica- systems is interesting and attractive. DOE, the National Sci- tions, transportation, fuel supply, banking, and food supply. ence Foundation, and Congress could all help to address the These assessments should include a consideration of outages shortages in the engineering workforce through expanded of long duration (> several weeks) and large geographic programs of graduate fellowship and research support. In extent (over several states) because the response required addition, DHS would be well advised to examine potential to deal with such outages would differ greatly from those restrictions in visa programs that might dissuade students needed to deal with shorter-duration events (hours to a few from entering the United States to study power engineering, days). Time Scale for Action: 35 years. or staying to work in the U.S. power industry or research universities once they have graduated. Given the imminent Recommendation 8.2 Building on the results of these shortages of skilled engineers, there are security concerns model assessments, DHS should develop, test, and dissemi- associated with restrictions that are too tight as well as those nate guidelines and tools to assist cities, counties, states, and that are too loose. regions to conduct their own assessments, and develop plans to reduce their vulnerabilities to extended power outages. DHS should also develop guidance for individuals to help Additional Recommendations Primarily for Active them understand steps they can take to better prepare for and Participation by DHS reduce their vulnerability in the event of extended blackouts. The list below focuses on actions DHS could take, usu- Time Scale for Action: 35 years. ally in conjunction with DOE. Actions for other agencies and parties follow. Recommendation 8.6 DHS should perform, or assist other federal agencies to perform, additional systematic assess- ment of the vulnerability of national infrastructure such as

OCR for page 108
RECOMMENDATIONS 111 telecommunications and air traffic control in the face of Examine their internal radio communications sys- extended and widespread loss of electric power, and then tems to determine that battery backup systems and develop and implement strategies to reduce or eliminate vul- portable generators are in place to ensure that all nerabilities. Part of this work should include an assessment communication devices will remain operational of the available surge capacity for large mobile generation during a crisis. Because traditional communication sources. Such an assessment should include an examina- systems may become unavailable during a destruc- tion of the feasibility of utilizing alternative sources of tive attack on the electric system, options such as temporary power generation to meet emergency generation satellite communications should be evaluated (and requirements (as identified by state, territorial, and local periodically tested) for potential use as backup com- governments, the private sector, and nongovernmental orga- munication. Time Scale for Action: 6 Months. nizations) in the event of a large-scale power outage of long Assess black-start capabilities in their systems under duration. Such assessment should also include an examina- the assumption that major physical disruption of the tion of equipment availability, sources of power generation transmission system can occur, develop appropriate (mobile truck-mounted generators, naval and commercial contingency plans, and test both the plans and the ships, power barges, locomotives, and so on), transporta- equipment on a regular basis. Time Scale for Action: tion logistics, and system interconnection. When areas of 6 Months. potential shortages have been identified, plans should be Assess the potential for the cascading collapse of developed and implemented to take corrective action and long stretches of transmission line, and, where appro- develop needed resource inventories, stockpiles, and mobi- priate, include offsetting towers at various intervals, lization plans. Time Scale for Action: 2 Years (Assessments), or reinforce or upgrade towers at more frequent inter- 25 Years (Response Plans). vals along the line. Time Scale for Action: 6 Months. Recommendations Primarily for Utilities, System Recommendations Primarily for Congress and/or State Operators, and Law Enforcement Legislatures Recommendation 7.2 Utilities, governments at the federal, Recommendation 7.3 State and federal law or regulations state, and local level, and law enforcement agencies should should be modified to: develop official memoranda of understanding (MOUs) that spell out each party's responsibilities before, during, Recognize utilities as essential service providers so and immediately following deliberate destruction of utility that relevant utility employees will be trained and equipment that leads to a disruption of electric service. These legally designated as first responders to deal with MOUs should provide a clear understanding of who is in attacks on the power system. Time Scale for Action: charge and explain how decisions will be reached in dealing 1 Year. with potential tensions between crime scene investigation Provide utilities, when needed, with temporary and timely restoration of service, as well as with unantici- exemptions from laws that restrict their use of equip- pated contingencies. The MOUs should also help to ensure ment and their access to roads, materials, supplies, the appropriate allocation of resources and should address and other critical elements for restoration of electric concerns about potential government seizure of utility sup- service to essential loads, including those that have plies and equipment during catastrophic events, which can an impact on public health and safety. Time Scale for seriously hinder a utility's prompt restoration of electric Action: 1 Year. service. Time Scale for Action: 6 Months. Ensure that state regulatory agencies support prudent efforts by utilities to commit and acquire the neces- Recommendation 7.5 DHS with DOE and the Electric sary resources for service restoration and that they Reliability Organization should work with utilities that have provide reasonable assurance for recovery of these not yet done so to: costs. Time Scale for Action: 1 Year. Establish a team reporting to top management that coordinates physical, cyber, and operations security Recommendation 7.6 State legislatures should change through comprehensive plans that clearly define what utility law to explicitly allow micro-grids with distributed is expected of security personnel before, during, and generation. IEEE should revise its standards to include the after a deliberate destructive act; identifies the tech- appropriate use of islanded distributed generation and micro- nologies and strategies to be used to continuously grid resources for local islanding in emergency recovery monitor critical company facilities; and establishes operations. Utilities should reexamine and, if necessary, an Incident Command System and designates an revise their distribution automation plans and capabilities in incident commander to work with outside agencies. light of the possible need to selectively serve critical loads Time Scale for Action: 6 Months. during extended restoration efforts. Public utility commis-

OCR for page 108
112 TERRORISM AND THE ELECTRIC POWER DELIVERY SYSTEM sions should consider the potential emergency restoration at a disadvantage in trying to understand and manage system benefits of distribution automation when they review utility disruptions as they unfold. Time Scale for Action: 13 Years. applications involving such investments. Time Scale for Action: 2 Years. Recommendations Primarily for State Government, Regions, and Communities Recommendation 8.4 Congress, DHS, and the states should provide resources and incentives to cover incremental costs Recommendation 8.3 State and local regions should under- associated with private and public sector risk prevention take regional and local vulnerability assessments, building and mitigation efforts to reduce the societal impact of an on the models provided by DHS, develop plans to collabora- extended grid outage. Such incentives could include incre- tively implement key strategies to reduce vulnerability, and mental funding for those aspects of systems that provide a assist private sector parties and individuals to identify steps public good but little private benefit, R&D support for new they can take to reduce their vulnerabilities. Time Scale for and emerging technology that will enhance the resiliency and Action: 13 Years. restoration of the grid, and the development and implemen- tation of building codes or ordinances that require alternate Recommendation 8.5 Federal and state agencies should or backup sources of electric power for key facilities. Time identify legal barriers to data access, communications, Scale for Action: 25 Years. and collaborative planning that could impede appropriate regional and local assessment and contingency planning for handling long-term outages. Political leaders of the jurisdic- Recommendations Primarily for Standards-setting Groups tions involved should analyze the data security and privacy Recommendation 6.1 The ERO should require power protection laws of their agencies with an eye to easing companies to reexamine their critical substations to identify obstacles to collective planning and to facilitating smooth serious vulnerabilities to terrorist attack. Where such vulner- communication in a national or more localized emergency. abilities are discovered, physical and cyber protection should Time Scale for Action: 13 Years. be applied. In addition, the design of these substations should be modified with the goal of making them more flexible to Recommendations Primarily for DOE, EPRI, and Other allow for efficient reconfiguration in the event of a malicious Research Organizations attack on the power system. The bus configurations in these substations could have a significant impact on the capacity Recommendation 9.1 Complete the development and for maintaining reliability in the event of a malicious attack demonstration of high-voltage recovery transformers, and on the power system. Bus layout or configuration could be a develop plans for the manufacture, storage, and installation significant factor if a transformer, circuit breaker, instrument of these recovery transformers (also see Recommendation transformer, or bus work is blown up, possibly damaging 1 above). nearby equipment. Time Scale for Action: 1 Year (Assess- ment), 310 Years (Upgrades). Recommendation 9.2 Continue the development and dem- onstration of the advanced computational system currently Recommendation 6.2 The ERO and FERC should direct funded by the Department of Homeland Security and under- greater attention to vulnerability to multiple outages (e.g., way at the Electric Power Research Institute. This system is N-2) planned by an intelligent adversary. In cases where intended to assist in supporting more rapid estimation of the major, long-term outages are possible, reinforcements should state of the system and broader system analysis. be considered as long as costs are commensurate with the reduction of vulnerability and other possible benefits. The Recommendation 9.3 Develop for transmission control ERO and FERC should direct greater attention at vulner- centers a visualization system that will support informed ability due to multiple outages (e.g., N2) planned by an operator decision making and reduce vulnerability to human intelligent adversary. Since necessary reinforcements will errors. R&D to this end is underway at the Electric Power entail significant costs, just how far systems should move in Research Institute, Department of Energy, Consortium for this direction will depend on a careful quantitative probabi- Electric Reliability Technology Solutions, and Power System listic assessment of costs and benefits. Time Scale for Action: Engineering Research Center, but improved integration of 13 Years. these efforts is required. Recommendation 6.3 The ERO and FERC should develop Recommendation 9.4 Develop dynamic systems technol- best practices and standards for improving system-wide ogy in conjunction with response demonstrations now being instrumentation and the ability of near-real-time state estima- outlined as part of an energy efficiency initiative being tion and security assessments, since otherwise operators are developed by EPRI, the Edison Electric Institute, and DOE.

OCR for page 108
RECOMMENDATIONS 113 These dynamic systems would allow interactive control of Control System (WACS), and the Eastern Interconnection consumer loads. Phasor Project (EIPP). Recommendation 9.5 Develop multilayer control strategies Recommendation 9.6 Develop improved energy storage that include capabilities to island and self-heal the power that can be deployed as dispersed systems. The committee delivery system. This program should involve close coopera- thinks that improved lithium-ion batteries have the greatest tion with the electric power industry, building on work in the potential. The development of such batteries, which might Wide Area Management System (WAMS), the Wide Area become commercially viable through use in plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, should be accelerated.

OCR for page 108