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Page last updated at 10:14 GMT, Wednesday, 22 February 2012

UK 'vulnerable' to EMPs

The chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee, James Arbuthnot, has said that electro-magnetic pulses, which can occur as a result of a nuclear explosion or solar flares, are "quite likely to happen" and the consequences could be more devastating than exploding a nuclear bomb over a city.

Electro-magnetic pulses can knock out GPS, electrical systems and computers, and according to the select committee's chairman, the government should approach the subject with more "energy, cohesion and focus".

Mr Arbuthnot said that this is a "comparatively easy way to use a small number of nuclear weapons to cause devastating damage" and our vulnerabilities to such a threat are "huge".

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