Now this is embarrassing. The humongous National Security Agency data center in Utah — the one that was reportedly going to house lots of meta data about our email and phone conversations and perhaps even the conversations themselves? Well, it’s been afflicted by “chronic electrical surges” that have destroyed critical gear and delayed it coming online for another year, according to an exclusive Wall Street Journal report (registration required.) The NSA confirmed the issue, discovered in testing by the Army Corps of Engineers testing, according to The Deseret News.
Ironically, the huge data center was put in Bluffdale, Utah, south of Salt Lake City, because of its proximity to cheap power sources.
The Journal reported that there have been been 10 electrical failures in the last 13 months. According to the report:
“One project official described the electrical troubles—so-called arc fault failures—as ‘a flash of lightning inside a 2-foot box.’ These failures create fiery explosions, melt metal and cause circuits to fail, the official said.”
Journal reporter Siobhan Gorman cites project documents and unnamed current and former officials with the data center as sources. An NSA spokesman confirmed to the paper that there have been electrical issues but said the “failures have been mitigated.”