Would You Blow It Up Bill?

Since the oil spill in April, the Gulf of Mexico has witnessed numerous accounts of failed attempts to stop the oil from gushing into the water. With BP’s constant efforts to find a new solution to blocking the well, it is best to see how other nations have dealt with similar instances in the past. Bill Clinton spoke with Wolf Blitzer about the use of explosives to seal the well. This stems from the success that Russia has seen with the use of nuclear weapons to deal with gas well fires, as Jeremy Hsu of Live Science points out:

“The Russians previously used nukes at least five times to seal off gas well fires. A targeted nuclear explosion might similarly help seal off the oil well channel that has leaked oil unchecked since the sinking of a BP oil rig on April 22, according to a translation of the account in the daily newspaper Komsomoloskaya Pravda by Julia Ioffe of the news website True/Slant.

Weapons labs in the former Soviet Union developed special nukes for use to help pinch off the gas wells. They believed that the force from a nuclear explosion could squeeze shut any hole within 82 to 164 feet (25 to 50 meters), depending on the explosion’s power. That required drilling holes to place the nuclear device close to the target wells.

The Russians were using nukes to extinguish gas well fires in natural gas fields, not sealing oil wells gushing liquid, so there are big differences, and this method has never been tested in such conditions.”

Clinton notes that the use of nuclear power is not neccesary, but that this method of “bombing it shut” may be the beginning of a resolution: