Re: Supporting civilization

From: Pilot Pirx (
Date: Tue Jan 17 2006 - 12:58:52 MST

I'll guess that computer-assisted utilities have a program that puts their
  plants into "safe mode" if there is no evidence of human control for a
  specified period of time.
Maru Dubshinki <> wrote:
  On 1/17/06, Russell Wallace wrote:
> On 1/17/06, Keith Henson wrote:
> > That might be if we have serious self replicating nanotechnology. The
> > current infrastructure would not provide support following 99% of the
> > population vanishing. There was an SF story that had the electrical power
> > grid staying up for weeks after a near total die off in a biowar. That
> > just isn't in the cards unless it is being operated (and repaired!) by at
> > least human level AIs (or humans).
> I'm curious, how long would the power stay on if everyone disappeared?
> - Russell

Reading a Straight Dope article about just this issue ("When the
zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?", it looks like
most power plants would be offline within a day, with the natural
gases failing within a week, and the hydroelectrics going a few months
till some component broke- assuming no massive grid instabilities or
cascade of failures.


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