• @wikibotB
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      165 months ago

      Here’s the summary for the wikipedia article you mentioned in your comment:

      The Carrington Event was the most intense geomagnetic storm in recorded history, peaking from 1 to 2 September 1859 during solar cycle 10. It created strong auroral displays that were reported globally and caused sparking and even fires in multiple telegraph stations. The geomagnetic storm was most likely the result of a coronal mass ejection (CME) from the Sun colliding with Earth’s magnetosphere. The geomagnetic storm was associated with a very bright solar flare on 1 September 1859. It was observed and recorded independently by British astronomers Richard Christopher Carrington and Richard Hodgson—the first records of a solar flare.

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      • @Num10ck
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        125 months ago

        wikipedia says 20 to 40 million people would be without electricity for between 16 days and 1-2 years.

        • @0110010001100010
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          155 months ago

          1-2 years.

          I worked for an electric utility for nearly 2 decades and now am a consultant helping power companies with grid modernization. This is the part that terrifies me, we are WOEFULLY unprepared for an event like this. A number of times over the years a strategic transformer reserve has been floated to congress with no movement. Even things like a large scale, coordinated attack against a bunch of substations at once could cripple the US power grid for months or even years. Transformer lead-times can be as long at 70 weeks last I knew. Obviously, in the event of a large-scale event the government could step in and throw resources to speed that up but it would be FAR better to have a ready-to-go supply we could draw from.

          • @Num10ck
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            35 months ago

            what i wonder is this something that can be solved without government long range wisdom? like could you start a business stockpiling these things and being the only game in town when theres a disaster? or are the disasters so rare and the price gouging so limited that it would be a bad business move to sit on a square mile of these somewhere inexpensive and safe?

            • @0110010001100010
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              55 months ago

              Great question, and I should have probably clarified my response. There are transformers, the “cans” you see on utility poles. Then there are transformers, the “big boys” in substations. This is one of the better pics I can find on Google, oddly enough it links to an article about how easy it is to disable a substation by shooting out the transformer: https://stopfossilfuels.org/electric-grid/shooting-transformers-disables-substations/buckskin-substation-transformer-shooting.jpg

              The cans you see on poles are relatively ubiquitous and fairly easy to source. The big boys in the substations are the ones with the huge lead times and large cost. Stockpiling them as a business would be a loosing venture. It would be unlikely you would have a customer locally and transporting them is expensive owing to the weight/size.

              • @[email protected]
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                15 months ago

                As someone who works for a large utility company on the distribution side, the small ones on poles or in underground neighborhoods are still tough to get with backorders causing delays in projects. It’s gotten a lot better, but it’s still slow on them.

        • @agitatedpotato
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          5 months ago

          I know amateur radio operators who have emergency equipment stashed in containers designed to keep the radiation out so they have a backup in case literally everything else they have goes down.

          • @Num10ck
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            25 months ago

            smart idea but but maybe even better to leave the cities if everything is going to be dark for seasons.

            • @agitatedpotato
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              25 months ago

              Radio works outside the city too, and most of the time I see people tossing a HF mobile rig in there. A solid one of those can run 100w off a car battery and if you can get a random wire antenna over a 35-40 foot high branch you’d probably be able to cover the country on the lower bands so long as the ionosphere isn’t too irregular. You can even get car appropriate sized antennas for the higher frequency, shorter range bands.

        • @[email protected]
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          25 months ago

          Honestly that’s surprisingly low. I mean I wouldn’t want to be part of that group, but that’s perhaps 10% of the US population.

          I’m actually a bit reassured that a Carrington event wouldn’t be even more devastating.

          • @Num10ck
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            15 months ago

            or maybe they don’t want the population to freak out about it and demand wisdom and real security from leadership?

            • @[email protected]
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              15 months ago

              Lol, well, you’re not wrong.

              Definitely need to evaluate the source of that info.

              On the one hand, I’d think engineers would bring these issues up, and have ideas how to mitigate risks, in any industry that could be affected (especially power/telecom, since they affect every utility). On the other hand, I can also see management deciding to pay lip service to the identified risks.