This is a new article about the issue of Solar Storms taking out the grid.
What I find strange about the article, is that it isolates the issue to just the US East Coast. Why? It has the ability to effect any part of the world, depending on what side is facing the sun when the charged particles slam into Earth.
Space Storm Could Black Out US East Coast for Two Years
… “The United States population that is at risk of an extended power outage from a Carrington-level storm is between 20-40 million, with an outage duration of possibly 16 days to one to two years,” said Kathryn Sullivan, the first woman to walk in space and now the acting administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which hosted Tuesday’s conference.
“The highest risk of storm-induced outages of these magnitudes in the United States is between Washington DC and New York City,” she said, citing a report released last month by global insurance giant Lloyd’s of London, which urged businesses to “think about their exposure to space weather.”…
…Space weather is “one of six potential emergency scenarios in the upcoming shortlist of White House National Exercise Programs for 2013-14,” Sullivan said, referring to training exercises that test the readiness of the United States to face various crisis scenarios…
Quoting: Space Daily
The White Paper
Preparing the North American Power Grid
for the Perfect Solar Storm
For two days in February 2010, senior government officials and a handful of representatives from select public-private entities from the United States, Sweden and the European Union quietly gathered at the David Skaggs Research Center in Boulder Colorado. They had been called together by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to simulate what would happen if, as they were meeting, the North American bulk power system were struck by a severe solar storm.
The results were sobering. Within the first hour, the simulated storm would cause cascading power outages throughout the eastern and mid-Atlantic U.S. and eastern Canada. Power stations across the northern hemisphere would report numerous step-up and transmission transformer failures. Lacking back-up transformers and with virtually no domestic manufacturing capability, repairs and replacements would take several weeks, with full grid recovery taking at least six months. Within the first few days, emergency response personnel would face critical infrastructure failure as water distribution, sewage, medical care, phone service and fuel supply systems collapsed. Disruption of satellite and GPS communications would severely hamper emergency response and recovery. Utility workers in affected populated areas soon would abandon their posts to be with their families as civil society crumbled around them.
Quoting: The White Paper
on the Electric Grid
Tasked by the Department of Homeland Security, the 2011 JASON Summer Study focused on the impact of space weather on the electric grid, seeking to understand:
1) the current status of solar observations, warnings, and predictions,
2) the plausibility of Mr. Kappenman’s worst-case scenario,
3) how previous solar storms have affected some power grids, and
4) what can be done at reasonable cost to protect our grid.
This report builds on two previous JASON studies of different aspects of the U.S. electric grid.