We have all witnessed the ongoing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. With the failure of many of the containment efforts, it is looking like the problem will continue to grow. This weekend, some friends and I were speculating on how to shut off the well quickly. One of my buddies suggested, in jest, that a solid engineering solution would be to nuke the well. I spent a few minutes on the net, and it appears that my buddy is not the first to think of this extreme solution. It appears that the Russians used small tactical nukes to close wells as early as the 1960’s.
I am not saying that I endorse the use of nuclear weapons at this moment, but at some point the environmental effects of a small nuclear weapon will be out weighed by the environmental effects of the constant flow of oil into the Gulf. No matter what solution solves this extreme problem, this situation poignantly illustrates why the people of the world need to strive for new sources of cleaner energy. Long term we need extreme solutions such as wind, solar, and hydro to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Posted by Mark Norfolk