Making nuclear power plants more resilient

May 12, 2023, 3:01PMNuclear NewsCory Hatch

On September 1, 1859, amateur astronomer Richard Carrington was observing sunspots when a bright flash—a solar flare—erupted from the sun’s surface.

Unbeknownst to Carrington, the solar flare was accompanied by two large expulsions of magnetically charged plasma, what is now known as a coronal mass ejection. That plasma traveled 150 million miles in just 17.6 hours before slamming into the Earth’s magnetic field, inducing strong electrical currents under the Earth’s surface that today could impact electrical circuits across a significant area of the planet.

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