Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Nuclear Option

The uncontrolled gusher from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig has prompted one editorialist to call for the nuclear option, literally:
Obama should be discussing the possibility of using an atomic weapon to seal the leak [bold added]. Before the signing of the Partial Test Ban Treaty in 1963, the United States successfully detonated nuclear devices both on land and under water, and two potential delivery paths for a nuke are already in place in the form of the partially completed relief wells. Assuming the bomb could be delivered close enough to the drill channel, the yield required would be relatively small. Moreover, well-established formulae establish the burial-depth-to-yield ratios that make it possible to trap virtually all of the radioactive fallout within the sub-oceanic bedrock. [snip]

It seems a reasonable conjecture that the dissipation of a limited amount of radioactive material across the vast Gulf is preferable to the blanketing of thousands of miles of American coastline in ribbons of tar.
It sounds so crazy that it just might work.

But be very careful. As this experience has taught us, the ocean deep unleashes forces that man cannot control.

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