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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Plug BP's Gulf Leak... with a Nuclear Bomb

Of course the Russians would come up with a plan like this: plug BP's runaway oil leak at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico by dropping a bomb on it. A nuclear bomb.

Russian science journalist Vladimir Gubarev says this trick worked more than once in the Soviet Union:

The USSR had a sad experience in containing oil-well flowing in Central Asia. Two breakdowns occurred almost simultaneously. One of them took place in Urtabulak, where a gas torch was burning. The other one took place in Pamuk – a breakdown at an oil well. The two giant flames were extinguished with the help of nuclear explosions. They drilled two wells to approach the emergency wells under the ground and lowered nuclear devices into the wells. The troubled wells were blocked as a result of the explosions.

The work was extremely hard, but it was worth it. I took direct participation in the experiment and was personally present there during the explosions. The experiment was a success. The exploitation of the Pamuk oil well was launched again and nothing could remind of the disaster which had been liquidated with the help of nuclear explosions [Vladimir Gubarev, "Nuclear Explosion Can Heal the Bleeding Wound in the Gulf of Mexico," Pravda (English translation), 2010.05.13].

Wow. That might be the best use I've heard of for a nuclear bomb short of the Orion Project. (Read Niven and Pournelle's Footfall—and take that, you stinkin' Fithp!)

1 comment:

  1. When I sat on the floor of a house in Homestead, Florida in the pre-dawn hours of August 24, 1992, listening to a battery-powered radio accompanied by the sounds of a 150-mph wind flowing around the structure and trying to tear it apart or roll it over of a piece, one of the newscasters posed the question, "Could we disrupt a hurricane by dropping a nuclear bomb on it?"

    The answer that the scientists in residence gave rings in my mind to this day: "We could do that, and then we'd have a radioactive hurricane."


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