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Feb 22

MPs warn over nuclear space bombs and solar flares

A solar flare erupts from the sun. January 23, 2012. Solar flares can affect satellite navigation systems and other communications

The government must take more seriously the threat of a nuclear weapon being exploded in space by a rogue state, MPs have warned.

The Defence Select Committee said the resulting radiation pulse could disrupt power and water supplies, UK defence and satellite navigation systems.

Its chairman, Tory MP James Arbuthnot, said an attack was “quite likely”.

The committee is urging ministers to invest in more “hardened” technology to cope with such an event.

It looked at the threat to the UK’s technological infrastructure from “electromagnetic pulse” (EMP) events in space, which could also include the eruption of solar flares.

‘Quite likely’

The committee found the government was “somewhat complacent” about the risks to technology, such as the destruction of computer chips, which could put defence systems out of action.

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