Also, many other commenters thought the sun was entering a period of dormancy. Not according to the NOAA. "With solar activity expected to peak around 2013, the Sun is entering a particularly active period and big flares like the recent one will likely be common during the next few years."
Yesterday's solar flare rated a X6.9 on the GOES scale used to rate solar flare intensity.
"This image was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in extreme ultraviolet light at 131 Angstroms. Photo credit: NASA/AP"
Extensive long-term disruption of power grids, and telecommunications could wreak havoc on our nations 104 nuclear plants, which now only have procedures to generate on-site power to cool reactor cores and spent-fuel pond cool for 72 hours. This alarming situation needs immediate attention, as we have seen in Fukushima what the consequences of meltdowns can be.
The NOAA predicts four extreme solar flares capable of causing these kinds of consequences will be released in earth's direction in the next 10 years!
Moreover, a nuclear plant without grid power is a recipe for disaster, as it will potentially go through a process of meltdown. It is also observed that the part of the country predicted to be affected by the solar storms host considerable number of reactors.
Once the spent fuel rod pools at the country's 104 nuclear power plants lose their connection to the power grid, the pools could boil over, exposing the hot, zirconium-clad rods and sparking fires that would release deadly radiation.
The article goes on to point out that the back-up batteries, and generators designed to keep nuclear plants cooling systems going during blackout, are only designed and supplied for 72 hours, not years of being off-grid.
Holy smokes, folks,
I'm not making this stuff up.
This is not the plot of a new TV Sci-Fi horror film, this is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.
We are lucky to have this heads up, before any such events occur. We need to hear from the NRC immediately, what their view and state of preparation for such scenarios is at the moment.
We do need to take these longer-term threats more seriously.
And, prepare better responses for such worst-case scenarios.
I will write more about this tomorrow as I have more time to do more research, and assimilate this new data.
Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 11:31 PM PT: Mrsgoo provides us with this link confirming the estimate of a potential global blackout for more than a year.
Historical CMEs in Comparison
On 13 March 1989, a CME knocked out power to the entire Canadian province of Quebec for nine hours. Back on 1-2 September 1859, a “Solar Superstorm” caused the failure of telegraph systems all across Europe and North America. Auroras were reportedly seen as far south as Hawaii and the Caribbean! The world today is way more dependent on electricity than back in 1859. An event similar to 1859 occurring today could create a major setback to the high-tech countries and could result in a global blackout that could last up to a year. This recent flare was rated a Class X2, which is on the low end of the X scale and will not fall into a “worst-case scenario”. The latest from NASA indicates that the bulk of the CME is going to pass just behind us, putting Earth on the edge. Earth is a very small target in space. We will certainly have to keep monitoring our Sun for future solar storms as we approach the solar maximum over the next several years.
1:08 PM PT: Hi Folks. Sorry for the delay in responding to comments, My SO appears to have developed a blood clot in her leg as a complication of her knee replacement surgery this last weekend.
So, I've been taking care of her and we're now at the hospitcal getting medical imaging.
I really appreciate the over 300 comments and will respond to each and every question, but I'll have to wait until I get back, as I can only be on this computer a few minutes.
Thanks so much for you interest in this subject.
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