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.
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.
"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.