Electromagnetic Pulse Task Force

All current documents under the Reliablity and Security Technical Committee can be found here: EMPWG Documents​.

Related Files

Protecting the bulk power system and assuring the effective reduction of risks to reliability are integral pieces of the Electric Reliability Organization’s mission. In April 2019, NERC launched efforts to identify reliability concerns associated with electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) and potential methods for promoting resilience by creating a task force to identify key issues and scope areas of improvement for the industry. The task force will submit best practices and reliability guidelines to the NERC technical committees for review and endorsement. If necessary, the task force will submit a Standard Authorization Request to the Standards Committee by the end of 2019. 
In late April 2019, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) released a report that defined the EMP threat, assessed vulnerabilities/risks, and made mitigation recommendations in addition to laying the groundwork for the technical basis to develop a potential standard. The report complements a Department of Energy (DOE) action plan released in January 2017 on EMP Resilience. The action plan identified five goals: improve and share understanding of EMP threats, effects, and impacts; identify priority infrastructure; test and promote mitigation and protection approaches; enhance response and recovery capabilities; and share best practices across government and industry. 

On March 26, 2019, the President of the United States issued an Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulse. The Executive Order calls for collaboration and information sharing among government agencies and private industry as appropriate to promote resilience to EMPs, particularly with regard to threat and vulnerability assessments. The Executive Order also directed the federal government to provide incentives as appropriate to “encourage innovation that strengthens critical infrastructure against the effects of EMPs through the development and implementation of best practices, regulations, and appropriate guidance.” Of particular relevance, the Executive Order tasks the Secretary of Energy to perform initial research and development and develop pilot programs that would identify potential failures modes, contingency preparedness, and mitigations with regard to the risk to the electric power grid. NERC will continue to work with DOE and EPRI to clearly understand EMPs, their effective mitigations, and the proper ways to engage industry.


Draft Actions Dates ResultsFinal

EMP Task Force - Strategic Recommendations


​11/5/19EMP Task Force - Strategic Recommendations

EMP Task Force - Draft Strategic Recommendations

Supporting Materials

Unofficial Comment Form (Word)


Comment Period

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08/30/19 - 09/30/19



Comments Received



EMP Task Force - Strategic Recommendations