Nuclear Holocaust: All We Need Is A Solar Storm (Or A Crazy Hacker)

The severity of the nuclear threath from collapsing reactors in Japan is perhaps bigger than than most of us can imagine. Just a few hours ago, Tokyo Electric Power Co informed of a reactor containment vessel that may have been breached at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant, increasing Japan’s nuclear crisis and the risks of radioactive leaks. An emergency power cable is now being buildt to supply the reactors cooling system with more electricity. What do you think will happen if we at this moment should be hit by a massive solar storm, as predicted by NASA could happen at any time?

“If you get enough cold water inside you may stop the generation of steam and then life will get easier. Until then it is a bitch.”

Robert Kelley


Clouds of steam rose from the reactor buildings following a fire at Dai-Ichi’s No. 4 reactor this morning. Radiation levels at the No. 4 reactor hampered efforts to confirm whether the fire had been extinguished, a day after a similar blaze at the same structure, Bloomberg reports. And as long as there is steam coming out it will carry radioactive particles and gases with it.

“If you get enough cold water inside you may stop the generation of steam and then life will get easier. Until then it is a bitch,” says Robert Kelley, a nuclear engineer based in Vienna.

Exposed to air, the fuel bundles could chemically react with moisture, catch fire and spread radiation into the atmosphere, according to physicist Edwin Lyman, with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Spent fuel is pretty hot and so it is stored under water to keep it cool,” Kelley says, who worked for 30 years at the U.S. Energy Department.

“If the water leaks or boils away, then the fuel is exposed,” then after burning, the uranium corrodes and releases cesium, contaminating the area, he explain.

A Tokyo Electric worker at the Fukushima nuclear plant is being treated for radiation exposure, the Japanese nuclear safety agency says.

Tokyo Electric says it hasn’t decided whether to bring workers back after the utility evacuated 750 of its 800 employees following yesterday morning’s blast.

The nuclear maintaince company,Tepco,  is now building a power cable to supply electricity to the plant’s cooling systems, according to spokesman Daisuke Hirose.

The systems were knocked out by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The Yomiuri newspaper reported earlier today that if the plan succeeds, the company may be able to stabilize its reactors.

Hirose says there is no timetable for completion.

This video is just in; it seems like a new fire has erupted at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant:

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Based on this information, it seems pretty clear that the only thing that keeps a global nuclear horror scenario from happening is a a stable supply of electricity.

And that fact should also be a cause of great consern.

A Black(Out) Swan

A national electrical grid is at the moment one of the most vunerable infrastrutures there is.

With the worlds first cyber weapon – Stuxnet – released online (at least partly) and available to everyone, any idiot of a hacker with medium computer skills are able to cut the power in large areas for an unknown amount of time.

Most nuclear plants have diesel generators that can provide electricity for a limited time – but still; limited.

However, there’s an even more scary possibillity.

According to NASA and several other scientist, is the activity of the Sun building up power to release one of its most powerful solare flare eruptions in more than 100 years.

Some says the effect of a solar storm like this will have the power of 100 million H-bombs, and NASA have been warning for the last two years that this might knock out communication satelites and; electrical grids.

The scientist are not sure when this megastorm will hit the earth, but they’re sure that it will, potentially leaving us without electricity for many months.

It can happen in the next five minutes – it can happen five years from now.

Thousands of  nuclear power plants all over the world could be facing a simultaniously meltdown.

I really don’t like the way this is going…

 

Solar Activity Over the Last 12 Months

Go to the ECOLOGY section to get the latest data on solar activity, using the solar widget from Wolfram Research.

 

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