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the development of standards on preventing emergency situations in connection with the threat of unregulated use of nonnuclear sources of powerful electromagnetic radiation.

This decision by IEC is a consequence of the fact that a number of countries now have generators that can produce radiation comparable in intensity with the electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear explosion and would therefore have a more effective impact on radio-electronic systems. The high effectiveness of these generators is explained by the following factors:

  1. They emit not a single pulse, as occurs in a nuclear explosion, but a series of pulses repeated with frequencies of up to several thousand hertz.

  2. The radiation pulses are more broad-banded than the electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear explosion, and they cover the spectrum of sensitivity of most civilian infrastructure targets.

It should be specifically noted that the construction of super broad-band pulse generators is relatively simple. They may be manufactured in semiprimitive conditions with minimal expense. By this reasoning, analysts predict that these devices will fall into the hands of terrorists, common criminals, and hooligans.2 In the opinion of specialists, the consequences of their ill-intentioned or careless use will be extremely serious. Such consequences could include aviation, automobile, and railway accidents; obstruction of radio communications over large areas; disruption of the operations of computer systems in major banks, supermarkets, and control centers; obstruction of technical security systems in major museums, art galleries, vaults containing valuables, and other secured facilities; breakdowns in the operations of the system for controlling electric power facilities; and so forth.

Of course, such predictions require serious examination and, if they are even partially confirmed, the implementation of serious measures to prevent acts of electromagnetic terrorism and to develop methods for eliminating the consequences of emergency situations in the event such acts are perpetrated. A limited study was conducted by specialists from the Institute of Thermophysics of Extreme States of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Two types of experiments were carried out, one investigating the action of super broad-band electromagnetic pulses on computers and the other studying the effect of these pulses on technical security systems. In the course of the experiments, it was established that the computers under investigation failed when exposed to electromagnetic pulses with an amplitude on the order of several hundred volts per meter. This confirmed the prediction about the danger of super broad-band periodic repeating electromagnetic pulses for computer hardware.

The experiments also showed that the following events occurred subject to the amplitude of electromagnetic pulses acting on technical security systems:

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