NOAA, NASA: Severe Solar Storms Could Cause Power Outages for Years in 2013

Posted on Aug 09, 2011 in Science & Technology

TruthisTreason.net – Kevin Hayden

Source: International Business Times

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a federal agency that focuses on the condition of the oceans and atmosphere, said a severe solar storm could cause global disruptions in GPS systems, power grids, satellite communications, and airline communications.

With solar activity expected to peak around 2013, the Sun is entering a particularly active time and big flares like the recent one will likely be common during the next few years.

Most solar flares will only cause minor problems with satellites and power grids, but a major flare in the mid-19th century blocked the nascent telegraph system, and some scientists believe that another such event is now overdue.

In a huge solar storm back in 1859, telegraph offices worldwide were hit, some telegraph operators reported electric shocks, the telegraph systems malfunctioned and even paper caught fire. It is the strongest solar storm on record and is called the “Carrington Event,” which is named after Richard Carrington, who viewed and reported on the solar flare of Sept. 1, 1859.

The NOAA predicted four “extreme” solar emissions which could threaten the planet this decade. Similarly, NASA warned that a peak in the sun’s magnetic energy cycle and the number of sun spots or flares around 2013 could enable extremely high radiation levels.

This is a special problem in the United States and especially a severe threat in the eastern United States as Federal Government studies revealed that this extreme solar activity and emissions may result in complete blackouts for years in several areas of the nation. Moreover, there may also be disruption of power supply for years, or even decades, as geomagnetic currents attracted by the storm could debilitate the transformers.

Nuclear plants depend on standby batteries and backup diesel generators. Most standby power systems would continue to function after a severe solar storm, but supplying the standby power systems with adequate fuel, when the main power grids are offline for years, could become a very critical problem.

If the spent fuel rod pools at the country’s 104 nuclear power plants lose their connection to the power grid, the current regulations are not sufficient to guarantee those pools won’t boil over, exposing the hot, zirconium-clad rods and sparking fires that would release deadly radiation.

A report by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory said that over the standard 40-year license term of nuclear power plants, solar flare activity enables a 33 percent chance of long-term power loss, a risk that significantly outweighs that of major earthquakes and tsunamis.

Read the Entire Article Here – International Business Times

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