View Poll Results: Should a Nuclear Explosive Be Used to End the Agony in the Gulf?

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    4 28.57%
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Thread: Should a Tactical Nuke Be Used to Close the Deepwater Horizon well head?

  1. #11
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    Re: Should a Tactical Nuke Be Used to Close the Deepwater Horizon well head?

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    If it was that simple, why don't we just drop boulders and gravel on it? Or simply just use placed charges? I can see where you're going though. A nuke would provide a large enough shockwave to collapse the pipe relatively deep enough and fast enough so that the pressure would not overcome the falling debris. We'd still probably get leakage, but not like we have now.



    When?



    K-141 Kursk anyone?
    The explosion would have to be below the ocean floor, quite a ways below I imagine. I'm sure placement would make it difficult to accomplish.

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    Re: Should a Tactical Nuke Be Used to Close the Deepwater Horizon well head?

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    If it was that simple, why don't we just drop boulders and gravel on it? Or simply just use placed charges? I can see where you're going though. A nuke would provide a large enough shockwave to collapse the pipe relatively deep enough and fast enough so that the pressure would not overcome the falling debris. We'd still probably get leakage, but not like we have now.



    When?



    K-141 Kursk anyone?
    Because...

    ....hmmm..

    I guess you never tried dropping pebbles in Old Faithful from an airplane to stop the geyser, have you?

    Okay, look. The oil reservoir is thousands of feet below the lithic surface. The Ivy Mike test, a ten megaton release, only gouged out a 150 foot diameter crater. A small bomb, like in the Hiroshima/Trinity size I specified, would fracture the near surface rocks and not have a chance of penetrating the oil reservoir. But it would turn off the oil.

    And which has the worse ecological footprint, a small controlled energy release with a clean modern weapon, or a perpetual oil leak that currently cannot be contained by available technology?

    To put it in simpler terms, is it better to kill a thousand miles of coastline after a summer of uncontrolled oil leaking, with the inevitable extermination of coastal ecosytems, or to make a short blast that will kill some wildlife locally but have little long term impact on the Gulf ecosystems?

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    Re: Should a Tactical Nuke Be Used to Close the Deepwater Horizon well head?

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    The explosion would have to be below the ocean floor, quite a ways below I imagine. I'm sure placement would make it difficult to accomplish.
    No, the explosion could be where the bore exits the solid rock. 5000 feet of water would serve as an excellent tamper to contrain the blast effect downard into the rock.

    If they can put a robot on the gushing well head, they can place a nuclear explosive exactly where it needs to go.

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    Re: Should a Tactical Nuke Be Used to Close the Deepwater Horizon well head?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    just how would an explosion, nuclear or conventional, close the hole?
    It would fracture the rock to a depth that can be calculated if you have the knowledge and resources of Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore Laboratories at your disposal, and that fracturing would plug the hole like a granite tampon.

    Chemical energies would not be sufficient to ensure closure.

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    Re: Should a Tactical Nuke Be Used to Close the Deepwater Horizon well head?

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    What would the aftermath/radiation from the nuke do to the ecological system/fishing industry?
    Not much. Most fission products are short-lived, and modern weapons are engineered to minimize unwanted radiological messes. (We want to be able to march our troops into the blast zone as soon as possible, in the normal use of those things, not to mention that we might have friendlies down wind.)

    What will killing all the fish in the Gulf and all the sea floor marine life with an unlimited oil spill do for the Gulf fishing industries?

    There's enough oil leaking that there's a reasonable chance that the Gulf Stream might deliver some of BP's oil to the British shores without the hassle of using a tanker.

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    Re: Should a Tactical Nuke Be Used to Close the Deepwater Horizon well head?

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    It would take a far smaller explosive force than that which could be accomplished with conventional explosives.
    Well, I'm going to put this aside.

    It might even be true. The effects of explosives unter 2200 psi of hydrostatic pressure isn't widely published, and maybe it would work.

    For the purposes of this discussion it is assumed that chemical explosives are insufficient to the task.

    The real issue is whether people are so afraid of the nuclear boogeyman that they're willing to sacrifice thousands of miles of pristine coastal ecosystems and the national economy to avoid doing something simple that would cost less, far less, in real terms by any measure.

    So far it looks like the mental conditioning against the nuclear boogeyman is stronger than a desire to preserve and protect a thousand miles of wildlife preserves.

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    Re: Should a Tactical Nuke Be Used to Close the Deepwater Horizon well head?

    I'm not equipped with the knowledge to answer the question. I do know the Russians were successful several times but they never did it this far underwater under these conditions so probably no.

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    Re: Should a Tactical Nuke Be Used to Close the Deepwater Horizon well head?

    If I'm not mistaken, the pressure coming out is greater than the pressure pushing down, it could make it worse.
    In my amateur opinion, it's to risky to attempt.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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    Re: Should a Tactical Nuke Be Used to Close the Deepwater Horizon well head?

    It seems like this question should be answered by someone with expert knowledge in this field, instead of anyone of us, or a politician.

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    Re: Should a Tactical Nuke Be Used to Close the Deepwater Horizon well head?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Chemical energies would not be sufficient to ensure closure.
    kinetic energy's kinetic energy, you'd just need a lot of chemical explosive.
    So follow me into the desert
    As desperate as you are
    Where the moon is glued to a picture of heaven
    And all the little pigs have God

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