You can stop polishing your glasses — you're reading that right. A plan proposed to detonate a nuke to seal off that troublesome oil well is gaining support with each of BP's failures. The Russians apparently used the tactic five times between 1966 and 1981. They went four for five.
Still, those first four times saw wells successfully sealed off, including one that had been raging for three years (the spill in the Gulf — the worst oil leak in U.S. history — has been at it for over 40 days, by comparison). The method didn't work for the last well, and those responsible wonder if they just had poor geological data.
The call to go nuclear is spearheaded by voices such as Matt Simmons, a Houston energy expert and investment banker, who claimed the plan was thanks to "all the best scientists." He went on, saying, "Probably the only thing we can do is create a weapon system and send it down 18,000 feet and detonate it, hopefully encasing the oil."
The government's Energy Department was not as enthralled, as one senior official remarked, "It's crazy."
Will it ever happen? According to an anonymous source at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico — y'know, the guys and gals who created the Bomb in the first place — no. "It's not going to happen," continuing on with "Technically, it would be exploring new ground in the midst of a disaster — and you might make it worse."
Would you want to nuke the well if it ensured that it would be sealed? Or is a nuke only going to cause more environmental damage?