November 20, 2011
SOLAR MEGASTORMS can GENERATE a GLOBAL NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE
By Mark Goldes
MILLIONS of LIVES may DEPEND on WISE, RAPID, EFFECTIVE, ACTION! Giant Sunspot Now Aimed Directly at Earth. The largest active region seen on the sun since 2005 has rotated to the center of the sun’s face, as seen from Earth–which means any eruptions it produces will be aimed right at us. National Geographic News
Sunspot 1339 is a complex region and earlier ejected an X1.9 flare. X-class flares can cause major problems. An X-class coronal mass ejection heading for Earth could have devastating effects. NASA warns they can cause power outages lasting for years. Little recognized and unpublicized, a solar megastorm could cause a mortal threat – meltdowns at nuclear power plants across the planet.
We are unprepared and are playing Russian roulette with the sun. The NOAA sees the peak peril during the next 2 to 5 years. They state the maximum threat may occur in 2013.
3 million people lost power in the recent snowstorm. 130 million could suffer long-term, life-threatening, blackouts in the USA — and China, India, Japan, most of Europe and much of the remainder of the planet.
N.Y., Washington, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Seattle, and many other heavily populated communities could be in great peril. A similar threat to major cities and large populations exists worldwide.
To prevent the worst requires a massive 24/7 effort – similar to the optimum response to a major military attack on the entire earth.
The big problem is solar induced destruction of huge electrical transformers that take years to replace. The loss of those transformers and the long time required to restore them could black out large areas of the planet for several years.
Preventing this nightmare is urgent.
In the USA there are 5,500 of these transformers. 350 are critical. Over 20,000 such transformers may exist worldwide. New technology might protect them all.
Survival of millions, and numerous nations, possibly including our own, may depend on safeguarding critical grids, providing sufficient standby power to nuclear plants, and rapidly decentralizing energy!
This almost unimaginable tragedy might be prevented if we quickly install newly developed technology to protect the grid and safeguard nuclear facilities. It would also be wise to decentralize electric power generation as fast as is humanly possible.
A map of the USA on the Aesop Institute website reflects a NASA study based on the 1921 solar storm. There are two huge areas that NASA warns can experience a total loss of the electrical grid for years. After one month without grid power nuclear plants and many other nuclear installations are in danger of life-threatening meltdowns.
The NASA map shows the possible effect, if one of the powerful solar emissions that may strike in this decade, smashes into our geomagnetic field. Far worse than any terror attack, the entire world is totally unprepared for such an event. Based on this NASA map 71 nuclear plants in the USA are at direct risk from a solar megastorm. These nuclear plants could be without grid electricity necessary for cooling their fuel pools. Imagine 71 Fukushima meltdowns in this country. More than 400 facilities are at risk worldwide.
Without including probable nuclear plant meltdowns, NASA estimated the price tag in the USA could reach $2 Trillion the first year, with 4 to 10 years required for full recovery.
NOAA Assistant Secretary Kathryn Sullivan says countries should prepare for “potentially devastating effects.” Sullivan, a former NASA astronaut who in 1984 became the first woman to walk in space, said in Geneva that “it is not a question of if, but really a matter of when a major solar event could hit our planet.”
“Widespread disruption of electric service can quickly … endanger millions.” Joseph McClelland Director, Reliability, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
This is a little publicized multi-trillion dollar, planet wide nightmare! Preventative steps could minimize the damage.
Radiation experts recently estimated that more than 1 million people will die from Fukushima radiation. According to Dr. Tatsuhiko Kodama, the director of the Radioisotope Center at the University of Tokyo, the amount of radiation released thus far is equivalent to more than 29 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs. “While the remaining radiation from atomic bombs decreases to one-thousandth of the original level after a year, radioactive materials from the nuclear power plant only decrease to one-tenth the original level.”
The massive program needed would directly and indirectly provide millions of jobs and boost the staggering global economy far beyond current expectations.
PREVENTING THE WORST MAY MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE!
Cheap green electricity to supersede fossil fuels is in the birth canal – development and production might be sharply accelerated. $50 per barrel diesel from sunlight, water, CO2 and bacteria, is in pilot plant production today! Heat and eventually electricity might begin to be fueled by miniscule amounts of Nickel powder and Hydrogen from water.
These and other surprising positive Black Swans — highly improbable energy innovations with huge potential implications – are being born. See MOVING BEYOND OIL and CHEAP GREEN on this website to learn more.
After one month without grid power, a nuclear plant poses a grave problem. Once the water has evaporated in the stored fuel ponds, meltdowns become likely, spewing deadly radiation. Unless quickly prevented by sensible action, a solar megastorm can cause this nightmare to occur at a very large number of nuclear plants and other nuclear facilities .
There were huge solar flares in each of the last five months. A strong geomagnetic storm and a severe solar flare were experienced in September. The June flare covered half of the sun. An X Class flare occurred this month. Mobilizing to minimize the damage can stimulate broad support for decentralized energy production and emerging cheap green electricity.
An advisor to the Japanese government reported that as a result of the Fukushima catastrophe, millions of people will have to be monitored indefinitely for radiation sickness.
Will a Solar Megastorm create 71 U.S. Fukushimas?
We face a severe potential emergency. External threats serve to unite. The world faces an unrecognized nuclear peril! Uniting to confront it can generate the missing popular and government support to generate millions of jobs and revitalize the global economy.
A THREAT GREATER THAN ANY TERROR ATTACK!
A NASA funded study by the National Academy of Sciences was titled Severe Space Weather Events–Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts. The resulting Report detailed what might happen in the event of a solar megastorm launching a powerful Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that strikes our geomagnetic field. The study predicts blackouts that may last for years. As the map above indicates, highly vulnerable areas include most of the Eastern and Northwestern parts of the nation.
The NOAA estimates each 11 year sunspot cycle is capable of launching 4 “extreme” (X class) CMEs and 100 “severe” CMEs at the earth. More X class events than were anticipated have occurred in the current cycle. The most dangerous period is the next 5 years. The peak peril is predicted by some to occur in May, 2013.
So far, neither NASA nor NOAA have publicly acknowledged the mortal threat these events may cause as the result of multiple meltdowns of nuclear plants worldwide. To date, there is no indication that the White House, Congress, Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and/or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have adequately prepared to prevent the horrendous effects of such a solar megastorm.
The recent statement by a NASA scientist that human life would not end as the result of the direct effects of a solar storm during 2012 is misleading. A solar megastorm that causes widespread meltdowns of numerous nuclear power plants can seriously end millions, if not hundreds of millions, or even billions, of lives from radioactivity. This event could very well parallel the aftermath of a nuclear weapons exchange had there been war between the USA and the USSR — massive amounts of radioactivity carried on prevailing winds all over the planet. The issue is not the specific year. This entire 11 year sunspot cycle should be of concern.
Aesop Institute is a non-profit California corporation. S ubstantial private funding is expected in January for a documentary film as part of The Brooklyn Project described on the www.aesopinstitute.org website. A five year grant has also been approved for a Power Grid Protection Project.
Preventing this nightmare urgently needs Congress to reintroduce the GRID RELIABILITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEFENSE ACT , HR 5026, as unanimously passed by the House, and pass the SHIELD Act, HR 668!
Mark Goldes is Co-founder of Chava Energy and Chairman of Magnetic Power Inc. (MPI) in Sebastopol, California. Chava is acquiring assets of MPI. Earlier, he founded SunWind Ltd. and began the non-profit Aesop Institute. He previously was CEO of a financial and economic consulting firm. Once a student of Electrical Engineering, he earned BA and MA degrees at San Francisco State University, and later served two years on active duty with the USAF, culminating as a Senior Director of the Berlin Corridor control radar in Germany. Afterwards, from 1956 thru 1958, he earned a second Master’s degree and was a Fellow in the Graduate Program in the History of Ideas, at Brandeis University. In 1960, he founded Emerson College of the Monterey Peninsula, and later initiated the free university movement, which spread to at least 600 locations worldwide.