A massive solar flare, like small one shown in this photo, could cause the world’s 440 commercial and 300 plus research nuclear reactors to melt down simultaneously.
The sun, that intensely hot ball of gases located 93 million miles from plant earth, has been the subject of numerous articles here, but mostly for good: for harnessing solar energy in an Israeli kibbutz for instance, as well as in other parts of the Middle East. A while back I speculated on the ideas of the electrical engineering genius Nikola Tesla, who believed it is possible to harness the radio magnetic waves generated by the sun to create “free electricity”.
But what would happen if things went terribly wrong in the event of a massive solar flare? According to a National Geographic report, a major solar flare known as the Carrington Event that was reported to have occurred in the year 1859 and recorded by a British astronomer Richard Carrington. It was so strong that people could read newspapers at night from its light. The latest report suggests if such a flare were to happen, the world’s power grids could fail. In long-reaching consequences, without power for days, or weeks catastrophes could happen.
“Valentines Day” Auroa Borealis, Feb, 2011
Back then, the solar flare event was so unique that the auroras known as Northern Lights could be seen as far south as Cuba and “southern nights” from Antarctica as far north as Santiago Chile. Of course in that time, when the light bulb had not yet been invented, all that occurred were some temporary telegraph disruptions and the strange and even beautiful aurora phenomena.
But if such a solar flare were to occur today, the effect could disable and even destroy electricity and communication networks all over the world, causing massive power blackouts that might last for days or even weeks.
But the real danger we might all face from such an event could be the total meltdown of the reactors the world’s 440 nuclear power plants as well as another few hundred “research reactors” as some onlines sources point out. The two reactors in Israel alone are not in the best of shape as they were erected more than 40 years ago .
Damaged Fukushima reactors
The power grid destruction from a massive solar flare could disable the reactors and prevent their cooling systems from functioning, causing reactor meltdowns like those which recently occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.
The Fukushima reactor meltdowns, which released large amounts of radioactivity into both the atmosphere as well as the Pacific Ocean, is the worst nuclear plant accident since the 1986 Chernobyl one, according to anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott who Green Prophet interviewed.
Most people probably are not even aware of the more recent Valentine’s Day solar flare-up last February 2011, or the Halloween flare-up of 2003, which is said to have caused brief power outages in Sweden, interfered with satellite communications and created massive auroras that were seen as far south as Texas and southern France.
The effect of a massive meltdown of hundreds of nuclear reactors is something that might be reserved for late night horror movies. Its effect on human life, especially civilization as we are now accustomed to, would be devastating.
This scenario alone could well be a reason for countries to reconsider dependence on nuclear energy, especially large scale nuclear energy users like the USA (144 nuclear power plants), France (58 nuke plants) and Japan (49 nuke plants still operating). Not to mention the number of unstable Middle East countries like Jordan rallying to build their own reactors.
More articles about the sun, solar energy, and nuclear energy:
Arab Spring May Boost Chance for Desertec Solar Power
Dr. Helen Caldecott: Fukushima Nuclear Crises Much Worse Than Chernobyl
Were Tesla’s Solar Innovations Buried by Big Oil?
Japan Nuclear Meltdown Will Seriously Affect World Environment