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United Kingdom Wireless Networking Science

British Government Prepares For Solar Storms 52

judgecorp writes "The British Government has announced its plans to handle solar storms. The idea is to improve the resilience of infrastructure, including satellite communications — which the government says will also be useful against the future possibility of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons. From the report: 'National Grid and DECC are building on the work of the Space Environment Impacts Evaluation Group and E3C to analyse the range of impacts of extreme space weather events, with the Carrington Event being adopted as the reasonable worst case. These scientific assessments have enabled National Grid to change the design requirements for its Supergrid transformers, and to increase its reserve holding of transformers. National Grid is currently developing improved monitoring tools with the British Geological Survey (BGS) and installing or reinstalling Geomagnetically Induced Currents (GIC) monitoring devices into its Strategic Asset Management program. The next steps will be for National Grid, in association with BGS and working with E3C, to develop more detailed modelling of severe space weather events including impacts on generator transformers. This will extend and strengthen its analysis on the electricity transmission system completed so far.'"
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British Government Prepares For Solar Storms

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  • Re:Paranoid Wankers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @05:57PM (#39862255)

    Spending some money to harden the electricity distribution system against a major solar flare isn't such a bad idea when you consider the alternative. Even the relatively minor event in Canada a few years ago took months to put right, now imagine a major city like London or New York if you woke up one morning and there was no power and little hope of getting it restored for months or years because the distribution grid is shot and every country in the world is in the same boat trying to buy up new transformer capacity.

  • Re:Paranoid Wankers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @06:10PM (#39862359)

    Yes, it's obvious... it doesn't mean it's an less ridiculous. Unless, of course, you look at whose investments are being coddled.

    The infrastructure in question; electrical and telecommunications mainly, is incredibly valuable. Especially so in the context of communicating for business and political purposes. Can you imagine what might happen to the momentum of financial transactions in the event that we lose the ability to communicate? Even worse, what would happen to the general population if they lost their ability to be entertained or informed by the propaganda machines of government?

    If we were left to our own devices for any great length of time, we might learn real social skills and stop paying attention to the great leaders in the high halls of marketing and advertising. Think of what might happen if we all just learned to get along with each other!

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban