Electricity Case: Main Report: Risk, Consequences, and Economic Accounting

Zimmerman, R., Restrepo, C.E., Dooskin, N.J., Hartwell, R.V., Miller, J.I., Remington, W.E…. & Schuler, R.E..
Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, May 2005 (Updated June 2005).

As a critical infrastructure sector, electricity enables numerous other critical infrastructures to function, and in many cases is the critical path for their operation. This is underscored by the fact that historically, electric power outages have played a central role in disruptions of many other infrastructures. As a consequence of the centrality of its role, electricity is potentially a key target for terrorist attacks. This case sets forth risks in terms of hypothetical alternative attack scenarios in the form of various grid configurations that are vulnerable based on both natural events in the U.S. and terrorism internationally as well as in terms of the odds that outages will occur and other characteristics of outages will change. Consequences are then identified based on hundreds of events and other records that portray the effects that electric power outages have on key public services and businesses. Economic accounting is conducted in terms of human premature death and injury and business loss for some of the key consequence areas, using a wide range of economic factors.