Nuke the oil blowout? The worst idea in the history of history

Yee-haw, says Slim Pickens, let's nuke it.

As the latest effort to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico meets with failure, the idea of nuking the immediate area to seal the oil underground is gaining steam among some energy experts and researchers.

One prominent energy expert known for predicting the oil price spike of 2008 says sending a small nuclear bomb down the leaking well is “probably the only thing we can do” to stop the leak.

This is the WORST idea in the history of history. Why?

1. Because underground nukes vent, “producing considerable amounts of radioactive debris as a consequence. Underground testing can result in seismic activity depending on the yield of the nuclear device and the composition of the medium it is detonated in, and generally result in the creation of subsidence craters.”

In conventional underground tests, a nuclear device is lowered into a contained bore hole (one that has no fissures, vents, cracks, or other routes to the surface), and then is packed with gravel and plugged with coal tar. Brookings Institutes notes that “this procedure failed to contain the radioactivity from tests about one-third of the time.”

BP’s well is said to have fissures, vents and cracks. Would the coal tar plug work at that depth, or under water?

2. It will make the underground oil reserve, and possibly the seabed, radioactive. Any oil leaking out as a consequence of BP’s actions or as a consequence of the nuclear bomb would be radioactive. Anyone else tapping into that reserve would pull out radioactive oil.

Either way, radioactive particles would also be carried on the currents. Radioactive debris would float all over the gulf region, possibly into the Atlantic, causing widespread damage to the environment and illness in all animals it came in contact with. This would make cleaning up the oil spill vastly more complicated.

  • Ten Bears

    But they’re gonna’ do it anyway, it’s the only potion they have.

    It’s the End Of The World as we know it, and I feel fine.

    Addendum: you missed what may happen when those bubbles of methane ignite.

    It’s the End Of The World as we know it, and … oh, wait…

    The Revolution is almost here.

  • Corey

    Wow…youve totally missed the mark. First of all, there are many ways to safely use a nuclear device in this very scenario. First, a modern D-T reaction is very efficient at consuming most of its nuclear fuel leaving surprisingly little radioactive residue. Don’t get me wrong, a very large amount of neutron and other wave radiation is produced, but short lived and well moderated by water (for example, water is used as the moderator and shielding of sorts in fissile reactors). Some particle radiation is also inevitably produced, but not (REMOTELY) as much as fission weapons such as were dropped in Japan. Certainly not enough to “infect” the oil well. Think about Hiroshima for a second; negative effects from radioactivity certainly did occur, and on a large scale. However, it is far from a radioactive wasteland (people still live there and exposure is unregulated). Now take a weapon and order of magnitude more efficient at NOT producing waste radiation, move it 100 miles out to sea, several hundred feet under water (A great moderator,I remind you) and bury it in the ground. As for it being effective, were talking about a POWERFULL controlled explosion underwater, which propagates shockwaves 4.3 times more efficiently. It would more than work and in fact has on several occasions for the Russians. Seismic activity? Doesn’t work that way. A small earthquake generates energy several orders of magnitude greater than even the largest nuke…its just less focused. A nuke triggering seizmic activity is B movie material at best. Possible? Perhaps with carefully calculated application but by no means an inherant risk…not remotely. Please look up “D-T reaction” in wikipedia. The article is very informative. While your at it…look up “conservation of energy”

  • Matt

    Corey is very correct. There are many misconceptions about nuclear bombs that are propagated by the very propaganda you use as your main picture. These were used to incite fear making stupid masses easier to control. You must remember this is 5,000 feet below sea level and there is not even light at this depth. hundreds of nuclear bombs have been set off under the sea and the largest nuclear test site in the pacific is a bustling tourist locations. The real question is will the low levels of radiation that the nuclear bomb out weight the consequences of not doing this. The final solution as far as bp is concerned is digging a relief well which will take 2 months. By then the gulf is going to be COMPLETELY DEAD and with hurricane season it will likely be all over every coastal state. So yes this will work, no the dangers dont outweight the benifits, and you need to learn to research.

    That article sums it up BUT there are HUNDREDS on the internet. learn how to google

    • I blogged about Simmons call for Obama to take over BP yesterday

    • Ten Bears

      Just because you’re paid to say it doesn’t mean you know what you’re talking about.

    • You know what those nuclear bombs produced? Spongebob!

  • Sue


    I have a reading list, too. Read:

    “American Ground Zero.” ISBN-13: 978-0262071468

    “Fallout: An American Nuclear Tragedy.” (Quote: “everything that could go wrong … went wrong.” ISBN-13: 978-1555663315

    “Under The Cloud: The Decades of Nuclear Testing.” ISBN-13: 978-1881043058

    John W. Gofman, physician and physicist, has repeatedly disproved the hypothesis that there is a “safe” dose of radiation. In his paper, “What Is Factually Wrong with This Belief: ‘Harm from Low-Dose Radiation Is Just Hypothetical — Not Proven'”, he writes:

    …”A Five-Point Summary

    “Point One: The radiation dose from x-rays, gamma rays, and beta particles is delivered by high-speed electrons, traveling through human cells and creating primary ionization tracks. Whenever there is any radiation dose, it means some cells and cell-nuclei are being traversed by electron-tracks. There are about 600 million typical cells in 1 cubic centimeter.

    “Point Two: Every track — without any help from another track — has a chance of inflicting a genetic injury if the track traverses a cell-nucleus.

    “Point Three: There are no fractional electrons. This means that the lowest “dose” of radiation which a cell-nucleus can experience is one electron-track.

    “Point Four: There is solid evidence that extra human cancer does occur from radiation doses which deliver just one or a few tracks per cell-nucleus, on the average. [See paper for more information about this, at link below.]

    “Point Five: Thus we know that there is no dose or dose-rate low enough to guarantee perfect repair of every carcinogenic injury induced by radiation. Some carcinogenic injuries are just unrepaired, unrepairable, or misrepaired. The “troublesome trio.”

    “Conclusion: It is factually wrong to believe or to claim that no harm has ever been proven from very low-dose radiation. On the contrary. Existing human evidence shows cancer-induction by radiation at and near the lowest possible dose and dose-rate with respect to cell-nuclei. By any reasonable standard of scientific proof, such evidence demonstrates that there is no safe dose or dose-rate below which dangers disappear. No threshold-dose. Serious, lethal effects from minimal radiation doses are not “hypothetical,” “just theoretical,” or “imaginary.” They are real. ”



    Speaking to Carole Gallagher in American Ground Zero, Dr. Gofman said that those who promote nuclear activities continually downplayed and justified the risks and devastating consequences — much as you, Corey, are doing in your defense of nuclear bombing cleverly and deceptively called a ‘D-T reaction’. Dr. Gofman considered those who justified exposing people to ionizing radiation the “scoundrels of the earth.”

    But every lunacy has a champion to defend it. I know that nothing I say will convince you. I just hope there are enough sane people in the world to stop you in your efforts to destroy us.

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