The Government Spends Trillions On Unlikely Threats … But Won’t Spend a Billion Dollars to Prevent the Very Real Possibility of Global Nuclear Catastrophe

We’re Spending Money Combating the Wrong Dangers

Studies show that people are worry about the wrong things.

We are terrified of things that will probably never happen, and underestimate the real dangers which face us.

As we noted last year, the extreme vulnerability of nuclear power plants to solar flares is a very real threat which we must address:

Nasa scientists are predicting that a solar storm will knock out most of the electrical power grid in many countries worldwide, perhaps for months. See this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

Indeed, the Earth’s magnetic field protects us from the sun’s most violent radiation, and yet the magnetic field fluctuates over time. As the Telegraph reported in 2008:

Large hole in magnetic field that protects Earth from sun’s rays … Recent satellite observations have revealed the largest breach yet seen in the magnetic field that protects Earth from most of the sun’s violent blasts.

I’m not predicting some 2012 Mayan catastrophe. [Indeed, I think the whole Mayan 2012 thing is fake.] I am simply warning that a large solar storm – as Nasa is predicting – could knock out power throughout much of the world, especially if the earth’s magnetic field happens to be weak at the time.

What would happen to nuclear power plants world wide if their power – and most of the surrounding modern infrastructure – is knocked out?

Nuclear power companies are notoriously cheap in trying to cut costs. If they are failing to harden their electrical components to protect against the predicted solar storm, they are asking for trouble … perhaps on a scale that dwarfs Fukushima. Because while Fukushima is the first nuclear accident to involve multiple reactors within the same complex, a large solar storm could cause accidents at multiple complexes in numerous countries.

If the nuclear power companies and governments continue to cut costs and take large gambles, the next nuclear accident could make Fukushima look tame.

I’m not saying this will happen in 2012, or 2013 (although Nasa appears to be hinting at this). But a large solar storm which knocks out electrical grids over wide portions of the planet will happen at some point in the future.

Don’t pretend it is unforeseeable. The nuclear power industry is on notice that it must spend the relatively small amounts of money necessary to prevent a widespread meltdown from the loss of power due to a solar storm.

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Most current reactors are of a similarly outdated design as the Fukushima reactors, where the cooling systems require electricity to operate, and huge amounts of spent radioactive fuel are housed on-site, requiring continuous cooling to prevent radioactive release. [Designs which would automatically shut down - and cool down - in the event of an accident are ignored for political reasons.]

The head of the leading consulting firm on the effect of electromagnetic disruptions on our power grid – which was commissioned to study the issue by the U.S. federal government – stated that it would be relatively inexpensive to reduce the vulnerability of our power grid:

What we’re proposing is to add some fairly small and inexpensive resistors in the transformers’ ground connections. The addition of that little bit of resistance would significantly reduce the amount of the geomagnetically induced currents that flow into the grid.

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We think it’s do-able for $40,000 or less per resistor. That’s less than what you pay for insurance for a transformer.

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If you’re talking about the United States, there are about 5,000 transformers to consider this for. The Electromagnetic Pulse Commission recommended it in a report they sent to Congress last year. We’re talking about $150 million or so. It’s pretty small in the grand scheme of things.

Mechanical engineer Matthew Stein does a good job of reporting on this issue today:

There are nearly 450 nuclear reactors in the world, with hundreds more being planned or under construction…. 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 meltdowns, 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.

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In the past 152 years, Earth has been struck by 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, similar to but over 100 times worse than, the disasters at both Chernobyl and Fukushima.

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The good news is that relatively affordable equipment and processes could be installed to protect critical components in the electric power grid and its nuclear reactors, thereby averting this “end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it” scenario. The bad news is that even though panels of scientists and engineers have studied the problem, and the bipartisan Congressional electromagnetic pulse (EMP) commission has presented a list of specific recommendations to Congress, our leaders have yet to approve and implement any significant preventative measures.

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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 fires in storage ponds for spent fuel rods.

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 nighttime 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 drifts towards the next natural, inevitable super solar storm and resultant extreme GMD. Such a storm would end the industrialized world as we know it, creating almost incalculable suffering, death and environmental destruction on a scale not seen since the extinction of the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago.

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There are records from the 1850s to today of roughly 100 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.

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“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 percent stronger than the 1921 storm.[5] 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.[6]

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The federal government recently sponsored a detailed scientific study to better understand how much critical components of our national electrical power grid might be affected 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 Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Academy of Sciences, Metatech Corporation undertook extensive modeling and analysis of the potential effects of extreme geomagnetic storms on the US electrical power grid. Based upon a storm as intense as the 1921 storm, Metatech estimated that within the United States, induced voltage and current spikes, combined with harmonic anomalies, would severely damage or destroy over 350 EHV power transformers critical to the functioning of the US grid and possibly impact well over 2000 EHV transformers worldwide.[7]

EHV transformers are made to order and custom-designed for each installation, each weighing as much as 300 tons and costing well over $1 million. Given that there is currently a three-year waiting list for a single EHV transformer (due to recent demand from China and India, lead times grew 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 implications of widespread transformer losses.

The loss of thousands of EHV transformers worldwide would cause a catastrophic grid collapse across much of the industrialized world. It will take years, at best, for the industrialized world to put itself back together after such an event, especially considering the fact that most of the manufacturing centers that make this equipment will also be grappling with widespread grid failure.

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In the event of an extreme GMD-induced long-term grid collapse covering much of the globe, if just half of the world’s spent fuel ponds were to boil off their water and become radioactive, zirconium-fed infernos, the ensuing contamination could far exceed the cumulative effect of 400 Chernobyls.

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The Congressionally mandated EMP Commission has studied the threat of both EMP [i.e. an electromagnetic pulse set of by terrorists or adversaries in war] and extreme GMD events and made recommendations to the US Congress to implement protective devices and procedures to ensure the survival of the grid and other critical infrastructures in either event. John Kappenman, author of the Metatech study, estimates that it would cost about $1 billion to build special protective devices into the US grid to protect its EHV transformers from EMP or extreme GMD damage and to build stores of critical replacement parts should some of these items be damaged or destroyed. Kappenman estimates that it would cost significantly less than $1 billion to store at least a year’s worth of diesel fuel for backup generators at each US nuclear facility and to store sets of critical spare parts, such as backup generators, inside EMP-hardened steel containers to be available for quick change-out in the event that any of these items were damaged by an EMP or GMD.[12]

For the cost of a single B-2 bomber or a tiny fraction of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bank bailout, we could invest in preventative measures to avert what might well become the end of life as we know it. There is no way to protect against all possible effects from an extreme GMD or an EMP attack, but we could implement measures to protect against the worst effects. Since 2008, Congress has narrowly failed to pass legislation that would implement at least some of the EMP Commission’s recommendations.[13]

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Citizens can do their part to push for legislation to move toward this goal and work inside our homes and communities to develop local resilience and self reliance, so that in the event of a long-term grid-down scenario, we might make the most of a bad situation. The same tools that are espoused by the Transition movement for developing local self-reliance and resilience to help cope with the twin effects of climate change and peak oil could also serve communities well in the event of an EMP attack or extreme GMD. If our country were to implement safeguards to protect our grid and nuclear power plants from EMP, it would also eliminate the primary incentive for a terrorist to launch an EMP attack. The sooner we take these actions, the less chance that an EMP attack will occur.

And see this.

This entry was posted in Energy / Environment, General, Politics / World News, Science / Technology. Bookmark the permalink.
  • gozounlimited

    Rather than paying attention to a real threat (radiation), our corporate government prefers to spend their wad on protecting weather derivative short positions with their weather modification program and global warming fantasies…. U.S. Geo-Engineering Budget Exceeds Billions http://www.fourwinds10.net/siterun_data/environment/humans/chemtrails/news.php?q=1298429484 …. and No Snow, No Problem: How Wall Street Profits from Weird Weather Read more: http://business.time.com/2012/01/24/no-snow-no-problem-how-wall-street-profits-from-weird-weather/#ixzz1q8fQEeTL

    We are supposed to believe that Arizona is experiencing a global warming event …. we are being warned about …. Dust Storm | The Extinction Protocol: 2012 and beyond http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/category/dust-storm/

    But Look at this …. Chemtrails covering Arizona show up as streaks on radar at 7:30 am eastern. http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/full_loop.php

    And look at this ….. Massive Attack on Arizona-Chemtrails/Geoengineering 3-5-2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc0lQR09W-s

    And this …. 03/11/2012 Assault on Tucson Az! Look up! Geo-engineering / Chemtrails! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwlf0QeovNE

    And This …. Chemtrails Over Tucson! 03/17/2011 Completely Covered! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJIGLp4ZAfU

    Starting to get it? All coming to fruition …. looks like our government is guilty of not only fraud …. but genocide!

    • gozounlimited

      You might be interested in this ….. A (Crumbling) Wall of Money. Financial Bricolage, Derivatives and Power by Nicholas Hildyard. The Corner House, UK http://www.thecornerhouse.org.uk. 8 October … http://62.149.193.10/wide/download/WallMoneyOct08.pdf?id=783 ….

      • gozounlimited

        Notice …. now that the Cherry Blossom Reason To Spend Money is over the coooooooold weather is returning to destroy the buds our gracious government forced to bloom with geoengineering…they broke 6,000 heat records (not to mention earthquakes and underground explosions) with chemtrails and HAARP so their cherry trees would bloom early.

        So what do you think about your food dieing on the vine covered with aluminum, arsenic, barium, and boron (chemtrails)…. not to mention nano-particles of god knows what ….. so Washington can get their party on? ….

  • gozounlimited

    One more thing …. the reason Arizona is getting slammed with weather mod (chemtrails, HAARP) is to push the jet stream north …. forcing record heat in the Midwest and East. They are effectively blocking LaNinia from controlling the jet stream….which would have, if left alone, provided everything we need…naturally. Instead we have a freaked out, lied to nation, that can’t put two thoughts together without reaching for a XANAX!

    • gozounlimited

      And …. California was experiencing a drought until several people decided to fight back and develop a “Vinegar Brigade” protecting the Central Coast and Central Valley from chemtrails and HAARP. Once the negative ions were replaced in the atmosphere …. our normal jetstream returned. The problem with Midwest and East is your jet stream is being manipulated. Don’t need inflation to come from the Feds when your food has been destroyed and you have been forced into a drought. Watch commodities go through the roof!

  • gozounlimited

    Look at this ….. Ron Paul Supporters Spray Vinegar at the Sky to Fight “Chemtrails”…I’m Not Kidding
    http://www.countercontempt.com/archives/2578. We are not spraying vinegar into the air …. we are jet streaming it through humidifiers …. and guess what jack ass, California has their jet stream back while your whole life is getting sucked down the drain …..IDIOT!!!!!!

    • gozounlimited

      GOD is ready to kick ass (clean up the abyss this planet has become)!!!!!! Coming into astral alignment means all YOUR shit is going to come back in YOUR face but amped to the one millionth decimal. The outcome of your experience is totally up to you. I’m looking forward to earth after the refresh button gets clicked and the evil f’ers destroying our lives and world wither on it’s own vine..

  • http://vidrebel.wordpress.com/ Daniel Fey

    So what happens of the New Madrid fault erupts again? After 200 years it seems overdue. There are 15 nuclear reactors in the area. America needs something better than 4 hour batteries to protect itself from 15 simultaneous Chernobyl like meltdowns.

    Please consider this: The Four New Madrid Earthquakes Of 2012, 15 Nuclear Meltdowns, Mass Starvation, No Planning
    http://vidrebel.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/the-four-new-madrid-earthquakes-of-2012-15-nuclear-meltdowns-mass-starvation-no-planning/

  • Bii in CENTCOM

    Also on the subject of radiation, it is specifically EXCLUDED on ALL insurance policies.

  • derek

    THE SAMURAI RACE ,DEFEATED OVER ACHIEVERS IN WW11,PROUD,FOOLISH ENOUGH TO WIPE OUT THEIR OWN TRADITIONAL SAMURAI CULTURE IN 1870 WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF FIREARMS AND WESTERN MILITARY ARMY TACTICS, STUPID ENOUGH TO BACK HITLER AND THE NAZI’S , BLIND ENOUGH TO BELIEVE THEY WERE SUPERIOR AND ENTITLED ,DUMB ENOUGH TO THINK THEY COULD TAME NATURE AND BUILD NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS IN A GEO THERMAL UNSTABLE COASTAL SYSTEM WITH NO BACK UP PLAN AND A PLAN TO BACK THAT UP, EVEN WHEN THEIR GEOLOGISTS CONFIRMED THAT A MASSIVE QUAKE AND TSUNAMI STRUCK THAT ISLAND ONCE A LONG TIME AGO AND WIPED OUT EVERY THING IN IT’S PATH. WE USED A NUCLEAR DEVICE ON THIS CULTURE AS A WARNING TO JAPAN AND THE REST OF THE FREE WORLD , THAT MILLIONS WOULD DIE FOR THE ACTIONS OF THE STATE, TO SAVE THE REST OF THE FREE WORLD FROM A SADISTIC TYRANNICAL ALLIANCE ! THE JAPANESE APPARENTLY FORGOT THE CONSEQUENCES OF PLAYING WITH NUCLEAR FISSION ,MASKING THE DANGER WHEN MELT DOWN OCCURRED, KILLING THEIR OWN PEOPLE AND NOW ENDANGERING THE SAME FREE WORLD THAT THEY TRIED TO ERADICATE IN THE 1940′S. THEY BUILT AMAZING CARS BUT MISSED THE MARK COMPLETELY THROUGH INBRED ARROGANCE AND A SADISM THAT IS ROOTED DEEP IN THEIR OTHERWISE BEAUTIFUL CULTURE! THIS IS THE TRUE MEANING OF MASS MURDER ON A GLOBAL SCALE IF REACTOR #4 IMPLODES AND NATURE FINISHES WHAT IT STARTED IN JAPAN!

  • derek

    PAY ATTENTION WASHINGTON AND AMERICANS ALL OVER THIS COUNTRY BECAUSE THE NRC IS GUILTY OF THE SAME OVERSIGHT AND RECKLESS POLICY , THOUGH TO DATE THEY HAVE BARELY ESCAPED MASSIVE DESTRUCTION AND NEAR DEADLY MASSIVE FATALITY IN AND AROUND MORE THAN A FEW OF OUR PLANTS ON THE COASTAL AREAS OF OUR COUNTRY OVER THE LAST DECADE. OUR PLANTS HAVE A GOOD DESIGN AND LOCATION FOR ALTERNATE GENERATORS IN EMERGENCY BUT THE TECHNOLOGY IS WOEFULLY OLD AND DATED AND SUBJECT TO SYSTEM FAILURE . THE INEVITABLE TRUTH BEHIND PENNY PINCHING WILL BE THE DEMISE OF OUR RACE WHEN REGULATION, INSPECTION AND SUPERVISION ARE NO LONGER PRIORITY AND UPGRADES ARE NOT CONSIDERED URGENT! ONLY ONE ACCIDENT WITH THE RIGHT DYNAMICS TO ONE PLANT IN EACH OF THE COUNTRIES THAT USE THIS TECHNOLOGY , IS THE LAST GASP FOR HUMANITY. INCOMPREHENSIBLE AND BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDING IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH, THE JAPANESE USED THIS PHRASE THROUGH OUT THEIR HISTORY, WHEN CONFUSED BY PREMONITION ! WE WILL NOT BE SO LUCKY, BECAUSE GLARING EXAMPLES ARE AT OUR FEET AND WE ARE ALMOST AS BLIND AS THE JAPANESE!

  • Big Al

    When the moon is in the seventh house, And Jupiter aligns with Mars, Then peace will guide the planets, And love will steer the stars. This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius! Harmony and understanding, Sympathy and trust abounding, No more falsehoods or derision, Golden living dreams of visions, Mystic crystal revelation, And the mind’s true liberation.

 

 

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