US and UK officials work on plan to cut electric power to prevent grid collapse from solar storms

June 17, 2011LONDON – Officials in Britain and the United States are preparing to make controlled power cuts to their national electricity supplies in response to a warning of a possible powerful solar storm hitting the Earth. In an interview with The Independent, Thomas Bogdan, director of the US Space Weather Prediction Centre, said that controlled power “outages” will protect the National Electricity Grids against damage which could take months or even years to repair should a large solar storm collide with the Earth without any precautions being taken. Dr Bogdan is in close discussions with scientists in the UK Met Office to set up a second space weather prediction centre in Britain to co-ordinate a global response to a threat viewed seriously by both the US and UK governments. One topic of discussion is how to protect national electricity grids from the immense power surges caused by the geomagnetic storms which happen when highly energetic solar particles collide with the Earth’s magnetic field. The most vulnerable parts of the grid are the hundreds of transformers connected to power lines many miles long that can experience sudden current surges during a geomagnetic solar storm, Dr Bogdan said. “It points to a potential scenario where large parts of either North America or northern Europe may be without power from between days or weeks, to perhaps months and, in extreme cases, there are estimates that it could last years,” Dr Bogdan said. –Independent UK
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30 Responses to US and UK officials work on plan to cut electric power to prevent grid collapse from solar storms

  1. nobody says:

    Do they have any clues when the next solar storm might happen? I am also confused how can controlled power outages protect the national electricity grids? Just wondering


  2. nobody says:

    Thank you Alvin, I guess they must be anticipating some serious solar storms coming our way. You know everyone is talking about storing food and having a 2 or 3 month of supply of food and water just in case something happens that can not be repaired in a short time.


  3. Stephen says:

    I thought that the Sun is already in the process of “hibernation”, and which it caused quite a stir among the experts. Which is true then?


    • NickKo says:

      The fact is, scientists and astronomers are not really sure.

      Their projections are based upon data, that only goes back for maybe a couple of hundred years, if even that.

      I am glad to see that governments are finally starting to take the issue seriously, at last.

      – Nick


    • pam says:

      I think they’re expecting that to happen with the next solar cycle. We’ve still got a way to go with this one. There were 3 papers presented at the NASA meeting this last week – It’s still correlational data, though, as I understand it, not causal. — soooo, maybe yes, maybe no.


    • Chondra says:

      I know Stephen…these NASA idiots can’t make up their stupid minds. They just released a statement in the last week or so saying: nothing to worry about-nothing to see here-keeping moving-keep watching American Idol”. Yet on their OWN website, issue a warning to “their own NASA family” saying, be prepared for bad things to come. I swear, the only place you can’t get reliable news is on this site and you tube. The “real” journalists are the everyday people keeping watch. The professionals should be jailed for their treason!


      • Stephen says:

        are they plainly clueless or are they just hiding the facts from us? from what I notice, they are issuing confusing statements. A moment from now, they change sides. what’s the purpose of NASA?


  4. Anthony says:

    Why do you people act like we don’t have real-time data? Watch the X-ray flux!!!!!!!


    • Rick says:

      Anthony, what guarantees are there that the “real-time data” is a) real, and b) real-time? Anything can be manipulated and everything must be viewed with scrutiny. That’s just the way it is in 21st century America.
      We’ve already recently witnessed NASA talking out of both sides of their mouths on this issue.

      Can you provide the real-time source you are referring to?

      Everyone should have an emergency plan that includes food and water storage (and a simple water purifier such as a Katadyn).


  5. Leon says:

    The truth is out there, but we don’t know it. Having some water and food supplies won’t be superfluous. Better be safe than sorry.


  6. King kevin says:

    Exactly man, it just shows they have no clue as to what is going on. First it’s going to get crazy pissed, then it’s going to sleep. THEY DON’T KNOW. They know about as much as you or I do about it, except they’ve spent billions of dollars to be able to figure out nothing


  7. Jake says:

    So the only parts of the grid that would be safe are the sections that are powered down when the next storm hits? Seems like just another power grab/ control tactic by big brother…


  8. Solar jokes says:

    Ha ha ha
    I thought they said the Sun was going dormant.
    Prepare for the worst. These people run on what they
    Want to happen not what is happening.
    They can make the information bend the way that want.
    Go to the scientists that are not making money off they studies.
    Eleni is affecting the sun. That is the problem. NASA is hiding the info we need.
    Plan for the worst hope for the best.
    Join a survival group now.


    • SC says:

      Solar jokes – how do you find a survival group? I’ve been trying to get my friends on board and it’s not working. I welcome any insight you have on this. Thank you!


  9. radiogirl says:

    From what I personally can gather in order to interpret the mixed messages of the experts and the powers that be is…..change is coming be prepared for just about anything.Easier said than done I will admit….but have your basic bases covered as best you can….food water…bug out bag ready in home and car.Best to You All,R


  10. Anthony says: <- This is a space weather seismograph.


  11. idiotbox says:

    a basic faraday cage can be used for sensetive electronics made of metal straping and hardware cloth or a galvanized trash can with a galvanized lid , wrap the item in aluminum foil place it in the can use a rubber mat in the can for the item or place the can on the mat. Anything thing with a microprocessor or circuitry should be stored in said can or cage when possible.


  12. Dee says:

    this just looks like a smoke screen to cover the real story – they don’t have enough power for all the ACs this summer. this is a one time thing that might or might not happen. Much better to digest than the reality than the fact that our thirst for power is outstripping supply.


  13. Passing says:

    Everyone is an expert, I see…..


  14. Steve Mizon says:

    have a cup of tea and chill


  15. David says:

    The point of the story is to highlight how far the scientific community and the government have to go to raise awareness about space weather and its effects.


  16. Chris says:

    The pace at which earth changes are taking place I think it should be The Extinction Protocol :2011


  17. Gail K says:

    Well, haven’t we had an interesting weather year in 2012 re the solar activity since this was first poste?. I think the Good Lord spared us this time around. 2013 might be even worse.


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