Feds rule out using nukes to seal oil well - Macleans.ca

Feds rule out using nukes to seal oil well

But who suggested this crazy idea?


Well, that’s a relief. The Americans won’t be using a nuclear bomb to try to plug BP’s blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, after officials at the Energy Department stated emphatically that the option is not on the table. If this idea sounds like it came out of left field, it’s because it did. Or at least, it came out of leftist field. According to the New York Times, the Soviets used nuclear devices decades ago to seal off leaking gas wells—the blasts apparently melted the rock down the hole, which in turn filled in the openings. In recent days, the idea got picked up by—wait for it—investment bankers, who are worried about the future viability of deep oil operations in the Gulf. But talk about a risk of unintended consequences. Engineers are already concerned about damaging the well-head so badly the well can never be stanched. What could pose a greater threat to the well-head than a nuclear weapon? Said one federal official of the idea: “It’s crazy.”

New York Times

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Feds rule out using nukes to seal oil well

  1. fuck it i say nuck it anyway.

  2. There is talk that the well won't be plugged until December. Or you could drill down, set off the nuke under the gulf floor and cap the well much sooner. If they drill deep enough they can contain the radioactive material is the sea bed. Or you can let the well spew for another 6 months. It's not that crazy.

    • How much faster would drilling down to plant a bomb be over drilling down to create a relief well? If they're already having trouble doing the latter expect it to take a while to do the former as well.

  3. I really don't think they know how to stop this.People are playing with technology they can't control and it could kill us all.
    Get rich at any cost?

  4. Are people truly nuts? How can anyone know that detonating a nuclear bomb wouldn't blow things wide open? How can anyone think this can be done in a safe and controlled fashion when nothing else is being controlled? The problem exists because of technology failure, yet idiots assume that nuclear technology can't possibly fail or make things worse. Unbelievable stupidity.

  5. When I was young, I worked as a labourer for NBEPC. One of their mottos was "There's no job that can't be solved by brute force and awkwardness." Instead of using nukes. A well placed MOAB or two, shaped and well tamped down may do the job. Or shove a few hundred feet of Bangalore torpedoes or plastic explosive down the hole to close it. Other ideas are to put a few tons of thermite down the well and ignite it. It should turn the pipe to slag and stop or reduce the flow. Another idea to to place a giant mechanical umbrella down the well and then open it to stop the flow.

  6. This is another example of our "what do you mean you can't fix it now?"society.
    People in Europe were annoyed because nobody could stop a volcano erupting and it was messing up their holidays.
    Now there has been a blow out and oil is leaking into the sea a decent distance below the surface and it's the same thing.
    Folk actually seem to believe science has all the answers, but forget that science is actually the pursuit of answers.
    This kind of thing is very rare, so just how were the companies supposed to be well practiced and knowledgeable at dealing with it?
    They'll learn from this experience, laws will change and such occurrences will get rarer still. That is unless the demand for the product at a very cheap rate is such that politicians relax the laws again about safety. Just like what happened between 2000 – 2003 in the USA.
    Politicians need to remember that responsible government doesn't have a 4 year shelf life.
    And citizens need to remember that some stuff can't be fixed quickly, because we don't know how to do it.

  7. Seal Oil? When can we expect Bardot and MacCartney to show up?

  8. the russians are right using a nuclear device will solve this problem, the intense heat will fuse the rock making a glass coating to seal off the oil well.The only thing about this last resort is that the American government is stuborn to think over this plan. Another thing they could do is to get the russian physicis that formally helped to use this plan in russia over to america to calculate how this would go Ps- im only 13