Nuclear Option for Deepwater Horizon Leak?

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The nuclear option for sealing the massive leak from the Deepwater Horizon oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has been mentioned before, including on this blog, and for the most part seemed to get laughs as being implausible.  Frankly when I posted here about the North Koreans possibly causing this and the solution being an atomic bomb, I was only about half serious, as both notions seemed beyond the realm of reality. I guess this is what me and a lot of other people get for thinking it being silly as it’s come back in the form of reality to bite us in the butt.

According to this article in, this may not be as unrealistic as you think.  In fact it appears President Obama may be giving this serious contemplation.

The US has sent a team of nuclear physicists to help BP plug the “catastrophic” flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from its leaking Deepwater Horizon well, as the Obama administration becomes frustrated with the oil giant’s inability to control the situation.

The five-man team – which includes a man who helped develop the first hydrogen bomb in the 1950s – is the brainchild of Steven Chu, President Obama’s Energy Secretary.

He has charged the men with finding solutions to stop the flow of oil.

Evidently the President has had it with the buck-passing and the inability of BP to stop this massive oil leak.

The five scientists visited BP’s main crisis centre in Houston earlier this week, along with Mr Chu, and are to continue to work with the company’s scientists and external advisers to reach an answer.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Hayward said the five-hour meeting involved a “very deep dive” into the situation at hand, with “lots of nuclear physicists and all sorts of people coming up with some quite good ideas actually.”

Pressed further about the meeting, he said they had “come up with one good idea” but declined to elaborate.

I wonder if this “one good idea” involves a rather large bang?

The five include 82-year-old Richard Garwin, who designed the first hydrogen bomb, and Tom Hunter, head of the US Department of Energy’s Sandia National Labs.

In addition, Mr Chu has already dispatched Marcia McNutt, the head of the US Geological Service, to the oil company.

When you have one of the men who’s the father of the Hydrogen Bomb being dispatched about this, it really does sound like this is going to be a serious consideration, especially if BP’s other attempts to plug this leak up fail.  You have to consider that using “the bomb” may cause less damage than the massive oil slick will.  I heard one scientists on the radio today who figured it could actually be blowing out as much as 100,000 gallons of oil per day.

Regardless of what you think about CO2, global warming, or climate change, this is a disaster that may make anything in the past pale in comparison and I’m all for whatever will stop this.  The faster the better.


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