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Old 02-06-2012, 11:27 AM   #1
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Solar flares, emp's and tech failing.

400 Chernobyls: Solar Flares, EMP, and Nuclear Armageddon [Fulll Length Version] | When Technology Fails by Matthew Stein
There are nearly 450 nuclear reactors in the world, with hundreds more either under construction or in the planning stages. There are 104 of these reactors in the USA and 195 in Europe. Imagine what havoc it would wreak on our civilization and the planet’s ecosystems if we were to suddenly witness not just one or two nuclear melt-downs but 400 or more! How likely is it that our world might experience an event that could ultimately cause hundreds of reactors to fail and melt down at approximately the same time? I venture to say that, unless we take significant protective measures, this apocalyptic scenario is not only possible but probable.

Consider the ongoing problems caused by three reactor core meltdowns, explosions, and breached containment vessels at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi facility, and the subsequent health and environmental issues. Consider the millions of innocent victims that have already died or continue to suffer from horrific radiation-related health problems (“Chernobyl AIDS”, epidemic cancers, chronic fatigue, etc) resulting from the Chernobyl reactor explosions, fires, and fallout. If just two serious nuclear disasters, spaced 25 years apart, could cause such horrendous environmental catastrophes, it is hard to imagine how we could ever hope to recover from hundreds of similar nuclear incidents occurring simultaneously across the planet. Since more than one third of all Americans live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant, this is a serious issue that should be given top priority![1]



Figure 1. Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), SOHO image, June 9, 2002.



In the past 152 years, Earth has been struck roughly 100 solar storms causing significant geomagnetic disturbances (GMD), two of which were powerful enough to rank as “extreme GMDs”. If an extreme GMD of such magnitude were to occur today, in all likelihood it would initiate a chain of events leading to catastrophic failures at the vast majority of our world’s nuclear reactors, quite similar to the disasters at both Chernobyl and Fukushima, but multiplied over 100 times. When massive solar flares launch a huge mass of highly charged plasma (a coronal mass ejection, or CME) directly towards Earth, colliding with our planet’s outer atmosphere and magnetosphere, the result is a significant geomagnetic disturbance.

Since an extreme GMD of such a potentially disruptive magnitude that it would collapse the grid across most of the US last occurred in May of 1921, long before the advent of modern electronics, widespread electric power grids, and nuclear power plants, we are for the most part blissfully unaware of this threat and totally unprepared for its consequences. The good news is that there are some relatively affordable protective equipment and processes which could be installed to protect critical components in the electric power grid and its nuclear reactors, thereby protecting our civilization from this “end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it” scenario. The bad news is that, as of now, even though panels of scientists and engineers have studied the problem, and the bi-partisan congressional EMP commission has presented a list of specific recommendations to congress, our leaders have yet to approve and implement a single significant preventative measure!

Most of us believe something like this could never happen, and if it could, certainly our “authorities” would do everything in their power to make sure they would prevent such an Apocalypse from ever taking place. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. “How could this happen?” you might ask. “Is this truly possible?” Read and weep, for you will soon know the answer.

Nuclear Power Plants and the Electric Power Grid
Our global system of electrical power generation and distribution (“the grid”), upon which every facet of our modern life is utterly dependent, in its current form is extremely vulnerable to severe geomagnetic storms of a magnitude that tends to strike our planet on an average of approximately once every 70 to 100 years. We depend on this grid to maintain food production and distribution, telecommunications, Internet services, medical services, military defense, transportation, government, water treatment, sewage and garbage removal, refrigeration, oil refining and gas pumping, and to conduct all forms of commerce.

Unfortunately, the world’s nuclear power plants, as they are currently designed, are critically dependent upon maintaining connection to a functioning electrical grid, for all but relatively short periods of electrical blackouts, in order to keep their reactor cores continuously cooled so as to avoid catastrophic reactor core meltdowns and spent fuel rod storage pond fires.

If an extreme GMD were to cause widespread grid collapse (which it most certainly will), in as little as one or two hours after each nuclear reactor facility’s backup generators either fail to start, or run out of fuel, the reactor cores will start to melt down. After a few days without electricity to run the cooling system pumps, the water bath covering the spent fuel rods stored in “spent fuel ponds” will boil away, allowing the stored fuel rods to melt down and burn [2]. Since the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) currently mandates that only one week’s supply of backup generator fuel needs to be stored at each reactor site, it is likely that after we witness the spectacular night-time celestial light show from the next extreme GMD we will have about one week in which to prepare ourselves for Armageddon.

To do nothing is to behave like ostriches with our heads in the sand, blindly believing that “everything will be okay,” as our world inexorably drifts towards the next naturally recurring, 100% inevitable, super solar storm and resultant extreme GMD. The result of which in short order will end the industrialized world as we know it, incurring almost incalculable suffering, death, and environmental destruction on a scale not seen since the extinction of the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago.

The End of “The Grid” As We Know It
There are records from the 1850s to today of roughly one hundred significant geomagnetic solar storms, two of which in the last 25 years were strong enough to cause millions of dollars worth of damage to key components that keep our modern grid powered. In March of 1989, a severe solar storm induced powerful electric currents in grid wiring that fried a main power transformer in the HydroQuebec system, causing a cascading grid failure that knocked out power to 6 million customers for nine hours while also damaging similar transformers in New Jersey and the United Kingdom. More recently, in 2003 a solar storm of lesser intensity, but longer duration, caused a blackout in Sweden and induced powerful currents in the South African grid that severely damaged or destroyed fourteen of their major power transformers, impairing commerce and comfort over major portions of that country as they were forced to resort to massive rolling blackouts that dragged on for many months[3].



Transformer at the Salem Nuclear Plant, damaged by March 1989 solar storm[4].
During the Great Geomagnetic Storm of May 14-15, 1921, brilliant aurora displays were reported in the Northern Hemisphere as far south as Mexico and Puerto Rico, and in the Southern Hemisphere as far north as Samoa[5]. This extreme GMD produced ground currents roughly ten times as strong as the 1989 Quebec incident. Just 62 years earlier, the great granddaddy of recorded GMDs, referred to as “The Carrington Event,” raged from August 28 to September 4, 1859. This extreme GMD induced currents so powerful that telegraph lines, towers, and stations caught on fire at a number of locations around the world. Best estimates are that the Carrington Event was approximately 50% stronger than the Great Geomagnetic Storm of 1921[6]. Since we are headed into an active solar period, much like the one preceding the Carrington Event, scientists are concerned that conditions could be ripe for the next extreme GMD[7].

Prior to the advent of the microchip and modern extra-high-voltage (EHV) transformers (key grid components that were first introduced in the late 1960’s), most electrical systems were relatively robust and resistant to the effects of GMDs. Given the fact that a simple electrostatic spark can fry a microchip, and many thousands of miles of power lines act like giant antennas for capturing massive amounts of GMD spawned electromagnetic energy, the electrical systems of the modern world are far more vulnerable than their predecessors.

A growing number of scientists and engineers have become concerned about the vulnerability of both the grid and modern microelectronics to debilitating damage from severe electromagnetic disturbances. These could come either in the form of naturally occurring extreme GMDs, like what occurred during the 1921 and 1859 super solar storms, or an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) resulting from the deliberate detonation of a nuclear device at a high altitude above the earth.

The federal government recently sponsored a detailed scientific study to more fully understand the extent to which critical components of our national electrical power grid might be effected by either a naturally occurring GMD or a man-made EMP. Under the auspices of the EMP Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and reviewed in depth by the Oakridge National Laboratory and the National Academy of Sciences, Metatech corporation undertook extensive modeling and analysis of the potential effects of extreme geomagnetic storms upon the U.S. electrical power grid. They based their modeling upon a storm of intensity equal to the Great Geomagnetic Storm of 1921. Metatech estimated that within the continental United States alone, these voltage and current spikes combined with harmonic anomalies would severely damage or destroy over 350 EHV power transformers critical to the functioning of the U.S. grid, and possibly well over 2000 EHV transformers worldwide.[8]

EHV transformers are custom designed for each installation and are made to order, weighing as much as 300 tons each, and costing well over US 1$ million each. Given the fact that there is currently a three year waiting list for a single EHV transformer (due to recent demand from China and India, the lead times have grown from one to three years), and that the total global manufacturing capacity is roughly 100 EHV transformers per year when the world’s manufacturing centers are functioning properly, you can begin to grasp the dire implications of this situation.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:49 AM   #2
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I totally read all of that
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:52 AM   #3
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solar flares = dbz
emp = invoker in dota
tech failing = missing gaurd tech in ssf4


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Old 02-06-2012, 12:08 PM   #4
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solar flares = dbz
emp = invoker in dota
tech failing = missing gaurd tech in ssf4
No the emps are cause I can finally get 18 kills
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:17 PM   #5
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:27 PM   #6
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Yet another 2000ish scare.. Yes, the grid will fail.. Since we know when the solar flares will hit Earth.. not just predict but we know. It is rather simple to just unplug / decrease our demand for the said time, and replug the connection when it is over.

So we just need people at each nuclear station to manually switch over to the failover generators / power supply (especially in the US with so many people out of work, and in China with so many people who want work).. As long as things are not plugged into the grid they will be fine.. No solar flares won't "fry" any electronics by itself.

Man people to switchover to failover system, problem solved.. no need for freaking long piece of drivel.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:34 PM   #7
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Scare piece.... nuff said. Make it sound scary so people will buy his book
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:06 PM   #8
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As said, we know about this. We can predict when they'll happen. We also happen to have tech to protect against this. Go figure.

Radiation hardening - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:12 PM   #9
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we should stop going outside. you know, just in case we get hit by lightning!
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:18 PM   #10
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:34 PM   #11
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Newsflash: We will all die someday.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:37 PM   #12
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I would say something if I didn't have so much work to do.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:37 PM   #13
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So is this something new that we can now all of a sudden predict when to shut off things to the flares dont fuck up circuits? Didn't seem like they were able to that at a few of the nuclear stations in the past.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:32 AM   #14
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From the original link:

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Most of us tend to believe that a nuclear reactor is something that can be shut down in short order, like some massive piece of machinery that can be turned off by simply flipping a switch, or by performing a series of operations in a prescribed manner over a relatively short time, such as a few hours or perhaps a day or two. In spite of my MIT education (BSME, MIT, 1978), until recently I too was under the spell of this comforting delusion, which is far from the truth. You see, the trillions of chain reactions going on inside a nuclear reactor’s core continuously produce such incredible amounts of energy that a single nuclear power plant can generate more electricity than is required to power a good sized city. Unfortunately, these reactions do not simply “cease fire” at the flip of a switch. In general, it takes 5 to 7 days to slow down a reactor core’s nuclear chain reactions to the point where the core may be removed from the reactor.
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Inside the affected area, an EMP’s E3 effect would cause a similar degree of damage to the EHV transformers as that from an extreme GMD, but the E1 and E2 effects would cause far greater damage to electronic control systems than that from a GMD of similar intensity. Contrary to popular opinion, most personal electronic devices would probably survive with little or no damage, especially if they were not turned on at the moment of EMP, as would most automobiles. However, most complex electronic systems that contained digital microchips in combination with long runs of Ethernet cables (or other interconnecting cabling) which act like antennas for receiving EMP induced voltage spikes, would experience nearly 100% failure! [20]
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In October of 1962, the Soviet Union conducted three above ground nuclear tests over Kazahhstan to study the effects of EMP. Due to its more northerly location, the EMP effects at the Kazahhstan test site were several times stronger than those observed during the more well known “Starfish Prime” nuclear test, where the U.S. military detonated a 1.4 megaton nuclear device in July of 1962, 250 miles above Johnston Island, which is 900 miles south of Honolulu, HI. During the Soviet EMP tests, massive current spikes were induced in a 600 mile (1000 kilometer) long high-voltage power line that was buried six feet (two meters) underground. Massive induced currents caused a fire in the Karaganda power plant at the far end of the line, burning it to the ground. In anticipation of power outages caused by the EMP tests, the Russian military had preplaced a backup diesel generators on site, but many of these generators were damaged by the EMP blast and would not start prior to being repaired. Located at great distances from the test site ground zero, several military radar units were also disabled by the EMP. Due to the use of solid-state devices containing microchips, today’s electrical devices are generally far less resistant to EMP damage than the devices in use during these EMP tests that took place back in the early 1960’s. In today’s world, scientists predict that within the heavily affected area an EMP strike would cripple many backup power systems along with the vast majority of digital electronic control systems.

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Old 02-07-2012, 11:29 PM   #15
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:43 AM   #16
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Thats the disturbing part the tech there costs half a stealth bomber to protect these million dollar takes 3 years to custom build transformers but instead they would rather let politicians waste that money on war on Iran. If we do get a 1921 or 1859 style solar flare 1/3rd of the US is fucked for 3 years and thats IF they somehow manage to keep the emergency generators going for 3 years without leaking radiation, with only 1 weeks supply of diesel on site. Good luck with that.
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As said, we know about this. We can predict when they'll happen. We also happen to have tech to protect against this. Go figure.

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Old 02-08-2012, 08:19 PM   #17
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You're an idiot.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:49 AM   #18
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State your facts and reasons.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:30 PM   #19
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So I quote direct paragraphs from the article that counters all your points about just being able to "turn things off" and how the safety measures are inadequate yet the best you can do is fire off a one liner with no support and call me names?
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:34 PM   #20
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who cares if there's an emp? if shit happens let it happen, i'd want to see nasa shoot a missile towards the flare and stop it...

yeah not going to happen
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:25 AM   #21
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Thats not the point, the prevention and safety measures that can be taken now are quite simple but just like the levees in new orleans they are neglecting them.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:02 PM   #22
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Yes because the average unemployed population will know the procedure to shut down a nuclear reactor. How long do you think you can keep a reactor offline and properly cooled for when the entire grid is fried and the ehv transformers are blown (which takes on average 3 years to build to custom spec) With one weeks diesel supply at each nuclear plant to cool it, I'm sure you also know that in a grid down situation the gasoline/diesel pumps wont even work. Address those two key points and i'd glady put the tin foil hat down.
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Yet another 2000ish scare.. Yes, the grid will fail.. Since we know when the solar flares will hit Earth.. not just predict but we know. It is rather simple to just unplug / decrease our demand for the said time, and replug the connection when it is over.

So we just need people at each nuclear station to manually switch over to the failover generators / power supply (especially in the US with so many people out of work, and in China with so many people who want work).. As long as things are not plugged into the grid they will be fine.. No solar flares won't "fry" any electronics by itself.

Man people to switchover to failover system, problem solved.. no need for freaking long piece of drivel.



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Old 02-24-2012, 12:16 PM   #23
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I haven't been here long, but whenever I see these tinfoil hat threads, it's always you. Why bother? Clearly, nobody here cares. Most of the situations you post about, we are fucked anyway if they happen, and nothing really will change it.

Like I posted before, we all die someday. I would stop worrying, dude. Seriously. When a solar flare happens, and if it ushers in a nuclear apocalypse, well, I hope you enjoyed life up until then, and not worried about "what-if" scenarios.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:47 PM   #24
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Maybe for the slight chance of a logical discussion? Or a chance to learn something new? I guess you just come to RS for fat ass flashing on skytrain threads.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:25 PM   #25
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solar flares are caused by abnormal amount of highly active sunspots caused by magnetic storms on the sun. and every solar maximum year there will be unexplainable occurrences on earth whether it would be climate, current circulations or in this case technology failures. we don't have an explanation to what causes this strange phenomenon.
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