US Patents Issued and Pending

S.C.U.P.P. 1000 Self-Contained Underground Power Plant

Self Contained Underground Power Plant Hatch

US Patents Issued and Pending

Self Contained Underground Power Plant Hatch

S.C.U.P.P. 1000

The S.C.U.P.P. 1000 is a completely self-contained underground steel electric power generation plant designed to provide life support for underground shelters or homes for long-term durations. The S.C.U.P.P. 1000 is composed of a double wall 1000-gallon fuel tank and generator. Unlike conventional electric generating plants, everything is below ground and designed to work in severe climates and disaster conditions. The hatch dome and generator access cover are aerodynamically designed to resist flying debris in 350-mph winds from a tornado or nuclear blast. In addition, it can withstand an earthquake measuring 8.5 on the Richter scale with no damage and can survive 5-psi negative pressure from a tornado and 20-psi overpressure from modern weapon detonations. The S.C.U.P.P. 1000 is supplied with 1000-gallon double wall fuel tank and a 10 KW to 30 KW slow speed diesel diesel generator. Both diesels have fuel pumps to directly supply diesel fuel to the generator. The S.C.U.P.P. 1000 is shipped in one piece and can be installed in one day. The S.C.U.P.P. 1000 is started electrically at the engine by opening the hatch at ground level and climbing down 68 degree stairwell into the engine compartment or by an underground cable and remote control.

Historical Overview

Portable gasoline and diesel generators pose significant health dangers. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the number one cause of accidental poisoning in the U.S. During the past decade many people were hospitalized for breathing carbon monoxide as a result of fuel-powered generators operating either in the basement or in the garage even with the garage door open. Buildings are not airtight. During light or heavy winds, the leeward side of the house creates negative pressure drawing in fumes from a portable generator. When kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans operate, negative pressure is created in the building drawing in fumes from the generator. Carbon monoxide fumes are odorless and deadly because they interfere with the human body’s ability to process oxygen. Also during this time period, many people suffered injuries from fires or explosions as a result of generators operating unsafely. Power lines, solar panels, and wind generators are usually the first structures damaged during high winds, which carry flying debris and are therefore not dependable during emergency situations. It is this history that created the need to develop the S.C.U.P.P. 1000. NORAD Shelter Systems LLC® has been engineering and supplying high tech underground and self-sufficient products for over 30 years using modern state-of-the-art computer aided drafting (CAD), computer aided engineering (CAE), and Finite Element Analysis (FEA).


Between 1970 and 1990 presidents of the United States signed 594 major disaster declarations for territories in the United States. This has averaged more than 2.5 major disasters each month affecting millions of people. During 1989, 338,689 families qualified for disaster assistance. In 1990 more than 117 million families qualified for disaster assistance1. Since 1990 the number and severity of disasters has risen, possibly due to reduction of the ozone layer and El Nino. The aftermath of disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, blackouts, fires, and hurricanes have created tremendous hardships on these people who were forced to live without electrical power for long periods of time.

1 Federal Emergency Management, Washington, D.C., 1990 computer print out, non-published data.

Without electrical power:

There is no running water because water pumps require electricity.
There are no operable toilets, sinks, or showers because there is no running water.
There is no way of using heating furnaces because they require electricity to fire burners and operate blowers. Refrigerators and freezers also will not work.
There are no lights to allow normal living in the nighttime. Common flashlights and camping lights are only able to operate for a matter of hours.
Driving is extremely dangerous because traffic lights may not be operating. If the roads are free of fallen debris, and it is possible to drive to a fuel station, there is no way of getting fuel out of the ground because fuel pumps require electricity. So it is not always possible to just drive over to the next town and get the necessary supplies.
The traditional portable generator placed outside the building is not weatherproof and not designed to resist fallen or flying debris. If it survives the disaster, it is not designed to operate for more than a few hours because the fuel tank is so small. If it operates inside, it often creates severe problems due to exhaust fumes, heat, vibration, noise, and overheating.

Rebuilding after disasters has been severely hampered by lack of electrical power. The buildings where power is available, are the first to get rebuilt, simply because electrical power is available making it possible to operate construction tools and equipment.

Underground power plant perspective view

Cathodic Corrosion Protection System

A buried galvanized tank or steel tank becomes unsafe over time. Underground steel without corrosion protection loses 2 to 5% of its strength each year. The steel corrodes and weakens. A regular epoxy coating only slows down the corrosion process. The NORAD SCUPP uses a dielectric (electrically insulating) epoxy coating coupled to a cathodic protection system with anodes which directs the electrical corrosion process to the anodes and stops the corrosion process on the SCUPP hull.

Underground power plant top view

Fuel Tank

The S.C.U.P.P. 1000 contains a 1000-gallon separate steel tank located on the bottom dish of the structure hull. The bottom dish extends beyond the SCUPP hull creating a ledge where the weight of the wet soil allows the S.C.U.P.P. 1000 to remain constrained in the ground in high water table areas without rising due to hydrostatic pressure (buoyancy). The S.C.U.P.P. 1000 with an empty fuel tank develops 34,145 pounds of hydrostatic pressure or buoyancy. This buoyancy is resisted by 41,200 lbs. of steel and earth (@ 70 lbs./ft.3) cover. This design meets the American National Standards Institute (ANSI A58.1) requirements for buoyancy and the Fire Codes (NFPA 30) for a tank of this size. This size fuel tank allows 2000 hours of continuous operation @50% load for 83 days for a 14 KW diesel generator. The fuel tank is more than 6 feet below the ground, which keeps the stored fuel temperature well below the outside air temperature and well above freezing temperatures.

Filling Fuel Tank

  1. Extinguish all cigarettes and turn off generator.
  2. Open the hatch access cover.
  3. Remove the 2-inch fill cap on the top of the fuel tank.
  4. If the generator will not be operating for long enough periods to consume most of the fuel within a year, add fuel antibacterial liquid for 1000 gallons of fuel. One bottle is provided with the S.C.U.P.P. 1000. This should be added every year.
  5. If the S.C.U.P.P. 1000 is installed in a cold climate, No. 1 diesel should be used or No. 2 diesel with diesel antifreeze for 1000 gallons of fuel. This can be purchased locally.
  6. Insert the fuel nozzle into the fill port and refuel, checking visually to see where the level of fuel is. Do not completely fill the tank to allow for adding fuel biocides each year

Air Manifolds

Air for combustion and cooling enters through the air intake manifold and is exhausted through the air outlet manifold at ground level. The mechanical configuration of the air manifold design will not allow rain to be sucked into the structure. The hatch access-cover has an internal hinge and spring loaded so it is easy to open.

Leak Detection

The S.C.U.P.P. 1000 is manufactured with a 1000 gallon tank that sits on the floor of the hull dish and has a 2 inch space all around the tank to allow visual leak detection. It is the customer’s responsibility to monitor the fuel tank for any leaks by visually checking the space surrounding the fuel tank.

Operating Capacity

To determine the size generator required, add up all the running watts of all appliances that are expected to start and run at the same time. Electric motors require 2 to 3 times the name plate wattages created during the 1- to 2 second starting surge. If the S.C.U.P.P. is intended for residential use, the governing appliances are usually the well water pump, refrigerator, and furnace. The battery bank option eliminates the surge requirement.

Equipment Running Watts Starting Watts
Clothes Washer 1150 3450
Coffee Maker 1750 1750
Dishwasher no heat drying 700 2125
Electric Range 6 element 1500 1500
8 element 2125 2125
Furnace Blower 1/8 HP 300 800
1/6 HP 500 1250
1/4 HP 600 1600
1/3 HP 700 2125
1/2 HP 875 2350
Light Bulb (125W) 125 125
Oven 6000 6000
Radio 50-200 50-200
Refrigerator or freezer 800 3125
Shelter 45 Amp Bat charger 600 600
Television -color 300 300
Toaster 2 slice 1050 1050
Vacuum Cleaner 600 1800
Water Well Pump 1/3 HP 800 2125
1/2 HP 1050 3200

Air Blower

Cooling and combustion air is supplied by a 115-volt high-pressure centrifugal blower producing 1000-4000 cfm at operating static pressure depending on the generator size. The blower has an average life of 10,000 hours. It is activated as soon as the generator starts.


During very heavy snows, the air inlet, and air outlet holes may need to be cleared. Once the generator is operating, the moving air will create “rabbit holes” in the snow as it accumulates allow normal operation of the generator. Should either air manifold become blocked, the generator will overheat and automatically stop before damage results.


The S.C.U.P.P. 1000 should be installed 2 feet above the 125-year flood plain. A local surveyor can determine this level. The generator can also be easily removed.

Generator Exhaust

The generator exhaust exits the structure through the air outlet duct connected to the air manifold at ground level. The structure is under positive pressure forcing the incoming air and exhaust out of the structure just like engine rooms on ships.


The hull and hatch, are EMP shielded to MIL-188-125. The incoming and outgoing air is also EMP shielded to allow air to pass into and out of the structure but blocks all the EMP frequencies from entering the shelter which could damage the diesel engine. Supplying power to a home or office can NOT be accomplished by conventional electrical wiring. If the power from the SCUPP is connected to a conventional circuit breaker box which is connected to the local power grid, it is vulnerable to functional damage caused by an EMP. The overhead and underground power lines longer than one mile collect EMP which is transferred to the circuit breaker box. A conventional transfer switch can NOT be used. The best way to protect the SCUPP is to use a plug system to manually choose which source of power the house uses

SCUPP power connection to house

Automatic Off

The generator is equipped with a thermal switch, which will turn the generator off when it exceeds its maximum operating temperature. This may happen as a result of the blowers malfunctioning, low oil level, or if the air inlet/outlet manifolds becoming clogged.


Air manifolds – Make sure that the air manifolds and insect screens are clear from animal nests, bee nests, grass, snow, mud, etc.
Fuel – Use diesel anti-gel additive (or No. 1 diesel) and anti-bacterial additive as necessary.
Starting – Start the generator each month and run for a least 15 minutes.
Check interstitial space of the double wall tank visually for leaks.
Check oil level.
Check generator air filter.
Replace the fuel filter as required based on engines owner’s manual.
Check water level of battery.


The S.C.U.P.P. 1000 weighs approximately 7500 pounds and can be shipped by low flatbed trailer with overwidth permits. The SCUPP 1000 can be off-load using the same excavator that digs the hole. The excavator must be able to lift at 13.5 ft above ground to off-load the SCUPP 1000. Decontamination The SCUPP 1000 can operate in NBC (nuclear-biological-chemical) warfare environments. The inside of the S.C.U.P.P. housing and generator will become contaminated only if the generator is operating in an NBC environment. NBC contaminants do not affect the generator’s performance unless an extreme amount of dust and fallout clog the air intake filter. The standard air filtration system will filter dust only. The optional HEPA air filtration system will allow servicing of the diesel generator to operate in Nuclear-Biological-Chemical environments.

Installation Procedures

  1. Check For Damage (Inspect the S.C.U.P.P. 1000 for damage, which may have occurred during shipping. Report any indication of damage immediately to the shipper and NORAD.
  2. Excavation- (a) Stake out the corners of the hole and ditch to be excavated. The S.C.U.P.P. must be at least 10 feet away from any building. (b) Confirm the absence of power lines, gas lines, telephone lines, water pipes, sewer pipes, etc. by calling DIG SAFE. (c) Excavate a hole that is 16 feet wide by 16 feet long and 96-104 inches deep. This hole usually requires approximately 2 hours to dig depending on the size of the excavator. (d) For the power lines from the generator, excavate a ditch that is 12 inches deep and as narrow as possible from the hole to the underground shelter and building.
  3. Pea Stone Bed- (a) Build a bed of pea stone that is 2-6 inches deep on the floor of the excavated hole. (b) Check the height from the pea stone bed to the surface of the ground. The height should be 96-104 inches. The installation will require approximately 6 yards of pea stone including the pea stone bed.
  4. Off Loading Into Hole- (a) Attach a chain to the lifting eyes on the side wall. DO NOT LIFT S.C.U.P.P. 1000 WITH FUEL IN THE TANK. (b) Lower the S.C.U.P.P. 1000 into the hole and set on gravel bed.
  5. Leveling- (a) Place a level on the floor (b) Shovel stone under the base of the SCUPP Dish until it is stable and level. (c) Check to make sure that the hatch and air manifolds are at the desired height.
  6. Backfill Base-Continue to shovel stone under the base of the tank in 6-inch lifts or increments all around the tank. It is very important that there be no gaps or voids under the base of the S.C.U.P.P. 100
  7. Continue backfilling to ground level.
  8. Backfill- (a) Continue to backfill the S.C.U.P.P. 1000 with pea stone/gravel in 6-inch increments evenly around the entire S.C.U.P.P. 1000 to within 6 inches of ground level. (b) Use the surrounding soil to backfill the last 6 inches and taper out so water drains away from the generator-housing ring. If gravel or sand it used or some material that is not self compacting, a Jumping Jack compactor must be used every 6-12 inches of backfill depth.
  9. Power Cable Connection- The S.C.U.P.P. 1000 comes with two through hull pipe couplings through which one underground electrical cable is connected to the shelter and one is connected to a house or other equipment. Employ a licensed electrician to connect the power cable to the building main electrical line using a transfer switch (not supplied). This usually requires approximately two hours.


NORAD Shelter Systems LLC® Warranties that hull of the SCUPP 1000 will not structurally fail for 50 years provided that 1) the structure is not exposed to excessive overpressure 2) The structural parts are not modified 3) The structure is inspected, off-loaded, assembled, backfilled and installed in accordance with the company’s installation instructions. 4) structures are not built on top of the SCUPP 1000. The warranty does not apply to the parts and equipment that NORAD does not manufacture. These items are covered by the individual manufacturers. NORAD Shelter Systems LLC. is continuously improving its product and therefore reserves the right to change any specification without notice. Our liability under this warranty shall be limited to, at our option, repair of the shelter, or delivery of a replacement shelter to the point of original delivery, or refund of the original purchase price. We shall not be liable for any indirect or consequential damages, labor, or installation costs.

Power plant underground installation cross view