Efficacy of ESD bags from EMP
Will the standard retail ESD (Electrostatic Discharge)
bags will protect electronics (radios, car computer parts, etc.)
from an Electro-Magnetic Pulse from a nuclear explosion, assuming
those bags were in a fallout shelter far outside of any physical
I don’t have specific laboratory test results, but my reasoning is as follows:
The answer is no, Electro Static Discharge (ESD) bags will not of
themselves protect electronic devices against an Electro-Magnetic
Pulse (EMP) generated by a nuclear blast.
EMPs generate huge electro-magnetic fields that induce huge electrical
currents in conductors over a wide geographic area.
ESD bags dissipate small eddy-currents resulting from voltage potentials
between people’s fingers and the device inside the bag.
So there is a huge difference in magnitude here.
You added the caveat of being in a fallout shelter far outside of the blast
area but this opens the question “how far” outside of the blast area. Yes,
you can get far enough away to escape an EMP, but actually, you can
protect your electronics against an EMP by putting them in a Faraday cage.
(Please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage ) or you
can simply Google “Faraday Cage” and see what comes up. The important
thing is to not have any unprotected conductors penetrating the boundary
of the cage.
ESD bags are designed to "bleed off" low energy particles and electromagnetic
radiation. That is not the conditions of a nuclear explosion. Nuclear
explosions give off an array of charged particles and radiation. The
charge, from these various sources, overwhelm the protection afforded
by a standard retail ESD.
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Update: June 2012