Re: Gulf Oil Spill Reaches Land
Does anyone have credible references to explain this “nuke solution” idea? Websites or articles?
I don’t get it. Seems to me like if you nuke the well, the surrounding rock would crumble and oil would just leak up thru a zillion “nooks and crannies” resulting from the explosion. How would a nuclear explosion seal in a free-flowing oil spill? I don’t get it…
Simmons knows oil, but he sure as hell doesn’t know squat about nuclear weapons effects physics. But it is an attention grabber likely to generate hits on his sites and articles.
And I doubt it would be a “zillion nooks and crannies” – more likely just a one big yawning chasm.
Here’s the theory. A shaped charge or focused blast could seal the well bore but the trick is to calculate exactly how much yield would be needed to only collapse the bore. Too little and it doesn’t work. Too much and you could crack the dome and people will look back wistfully on the days when it was only a 40 million gallon spill.
Underwater NUDETS have their own unique properties. You couldn’t just lower a nuke on to the site and detonate it. Most of the shockwave would reflect off the ocean floor, much like most of the shock wave reflects off the surface in a low HOB air burst. Most of the force would be contained in a propagating bubble that would repeatedly expand and contract until the force was dissipated. If you want to have the shock wave propagate into the seabed you would need to bury the weapon so the shockwave reflects off the ground-water interface and stays beneath the seafloor. Then you get ground shock coupling and the formation of a mach stem in the seafloor. If that were to happen you would almost certainly collapse the bore but the controls on such an event are a bit imprecise so there is no guarantee it wouldn’t just bust open the whole dome.
That would be bad.
In theory it could work, but without a 100% understanding of the underlying geological structure, plus the ability to “Dial-A-Yield” and shape the blast, I just don’t see it as a viable option.
But damn, doesn’t the word “Nuke” garner attention?