Bree Turner's rebuttal ("Calm down," May 27) to my May 20 column "Testing Biden" displays the hubris of engineers who build nuclear plants in a tsunami inundation zone while assuring the public that there's "nothing to worry about here." My column was based upon the very real damage that occurred in Hawaii after a high-altitude nuclear burst detonated 800 miles away. Turner failed to mention that the vacuum tube technology of the 1950s was far less susceptible to electromagnetic pulse than the microprocessors and integrated circuits of today. Not only were lights turned off in Hawaii, but surge protectors also burned out.
The threat today is many times greater with nuclear weapons specifically designed to inflict maximum EMP damage and are believed by intelligence agencies to be within the nuclear arsenals of Russia, China, North Korea, and soon Iran. Turner also failed to note the impact upon the tens of thousands of commercial and emergency vehicles that would be disabled (most non-recoverable) from an EMP attack: So how does food get delivered to grocery stores? Grocery stores typically keep a three-day supply of food on hand which is why starvation emerges as an existential threat to the nation.
Former Director of the CIA James Woolsey briefed Congress on the extent and severity of this threat, (from which I based the content of my article) as did the Congressional EMP Commission reports of 2004 and 2008. They're on the internet for all to read along with numerous books.