Terrorists in Milwaukee?
You are right... they would have needed a HUGE wrench... but you would be surprised how many construction workers keep things like that at home. Hell, my dad had one in his garage.
The simplest way to solve the "bolt removal" problem is for a team of welders to go out and tack-weld those bolts down. Simple and easy to do and makes the task of removing the bolts much more involved. You would need a cutting torch or a heavy-duty grinder to remove the bolts... these things require one to drag around tanks of gas or some sort of power supply.
When you get down to it, it is impossible to setup 100% protection of something like that. Tack-welding the bolts will stop 99.99% of the people who try to mess with it (basically all of the stupid knuckle-heads out for some "fun"). In my book that is more than sufficient.
If someone is bound and determined to create chaos then they will find a way to do it. No use in wasting your time worrying about them. When they strike, you just deal with it.
If that is all the terrorists can muster here in the US, then I don't think we have much to worry about.And I've gotta wonder about those bolts in the first place. I don't know what these towers looked like and I don't know what kinds of bolts were missing, but I've seen light poles with HUGE bolts. You don't just bring out your 1/4 socket wrench and socket set to loosen these things. You'd need some heavy-duty equipment like those giant socket wrenches and a pretty big socket to match.
I have seen all of South Florida from Okechobee City south to Miami go totally dark from a few of those tangled up- mylar balloons that got across the 230 KV that ties Ranch Substation to Andytown in Broward, guys... and it took us over half a day to isolate the trouble and get the load back on. About a kazillion folks totally in the dark... and all the computers in the dispatching centers still needed line crews to ride line the old fashioned way...to patrol the trouble
Remember that "black-out" last year...not terror related at all....just one tree in the line in Ohio, relays one station and the load got so outta sync we had stations tripping for under-frequency all across the Midwest all the way east into NYC...millions out for a long time... $millions in damages and lost revenue. All for one tree.
The wrenches are not that big...most wooden pole bolts are 5/8", a 12" cresent wrench works on most of them. ( I know, been turning them for 20 years now) Steel towers.... most of those bolts are 1/2 inch and take a 3/4" standard socket. Yea, you could tack weld all the nuts... but I dont know who we'd pay to drag a grounded welding cable up a 200' foot tower to tack the 1000 or more bolts on a lattice tower... plus the induced field would knock the crap outta the guy doing the welding.
Hahaha..The "A" team.... sure. As always, "truth" is less entertaining than fiction. And yes, we HAVE had kids turn off miles of line after cutting a padlock off with a hacksaw and operating the lever to "see what happens".
We had one disgruntled employee (we think..he seemed to know alot about what to do) once who held the whole system at bay.... big outages every day for weeks... just a couple of clandestine operations of certain stratigic switches.... and poof -lights outs-for hours.... in major sections of our statewide area. They never caught the son-of a gun either.
Hill (Electric Power Lineman...20 years... some of it as a Trouble man and qualified switching operator for a major power company)