A glimpse of a grim future.
A nuclear EMP would involve a device exploding at high altitudes above the Earth’s surface. The detonation would create a series of shocks that would threaten unprotected electronics (such as personal electronics and communications lines) and long-line network systems (including electric transmissions, communications lines, and both oil and natural gas pipelines). Such damage would be serious and deadly.
However, the nations capable of launching a nuclear EMP device that could seriously degrade our critical infrastructure are unlikely to, either because they are our allies (e.g., France, Israel, and the United Kingdom) or because they have too much to lose from retaliation (e.g., China). Rogue states with nuclear weapons, like North Korea, lack the technology necessary to miniaturize the weapon, mount it on a missile, and fire it accurately enough to cause a widespread EMP catastrophe.
Finally, although it’s possible for terrorist or criminal groups to acquire nuclear weapons, they lack the organization necessary to operate and detonate it, let alone the technological know-how to miniaturize and launch it 30,000 feet into the air.
Not YET, they don’t. But not to worry; it’s not as if there are any other potential threats–natural ones, say…uhh, that would be at all likely to…umm….uhhhh…
The more likely source of an EMP event is the sun itself.