Saturday, May 15, 2010

Using Nuclear Weapons To Stop Oil Leak?

In this segment of "It Takes a physicist" we discuss oil leaks.  It appears President Obama may actually be considering stopping oil leaks with nuclear weapons the way the Soviets used to: with nuclear weapons.

From Slashdot here:
"The US has sent a team of nuclear physicists to help BP plug the 'catastrophic' flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from its leaking Deepwater Horizon well, as the Obama administration becomes frustrated with the oil giant's inability to control the situation. The five-man team — which includes a man who helped develop the first hydrogen bomb in the 1950s — is the brainchild of Steven Chu, President Obama's Energy Secretary."
and here:
The idea is simple, KP writes: 'The underground explosion moves the rock, presses on it, and, in essence, squeezes the well's channel.' It's so simple, in fact, that the Soviet Union used this method five times to deal with petrocalamities...
Now, I used to work as a summer student at Los Alamos.  (Bye the way, you don't have to work there to know this.)  I know they happen to be developing a next generation of small, light and very precise nuclear weapons.  I also know they are concerned that they've been developed but have never been tested.

But hey, here may be your chance Los Alamos.  Save the world and get your next generation line of warheads tested too. :)

Disclaimer: I don't like seeing the US build nuclear weapons more than the next person.  But since in the real world they are a "necessary evil", it would be nice to have an excuse to test them so that we know if they work right.  Especially if that excuses involves solving a serious problem.


  1. President Obama

    This should work. we aleady have nuclear weapons, according to a friend who work for the military, that will fit into the pipe. I hate nuclear weapons, but I would be for my president craming that s.o.b. down the pipeline's ass and collapsing the hole shut.

    Jon Robinson

    President Obama, I know that you will read this. You have people. Say this: "My administration permited this exploritory hole. That makes my administration responsible. That makes me responsible. The buck stops here." You cannot lose with this statement. Blow the thing up, with nuclear, or with conventional weapons. The army can do it. I trust you.

    Jon Patton Robinson

  2. Jon,

    I'm all for attempting this as well. I hope the president sees your comment. :)


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