As British Petroleum scrambles to affix a four-story, 70-ton dome over the massive oil geyser venting toxic sludge into the Gulf of Mexico, people everywhere are wondering what else can be done to stem the deadly tide.
Komsomoloskaya Pravda, Russia’s best-selling daily publication, has an idea: Why not just nuke it?
During the Soviet years, Russia’s communists had to deal with numerous oil disasters and on five different occasions they employed controlled, underground nuclear blasts to quickly solve the problem.
[The] underground explosion moves the rock, presses on it, and, in essence, squeezes the wellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s channel,” Pracda reported.
“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s so simple, in fact, that the Soviet Union, a major oil exporter, used this method five times to deal with petrocalamities,” added Moscow reporter Julia Ioffe, writing for True/Slant. “The first happened in Uzbekistan, on September 30, 1966 with a blast 1.5 times the strength of the Hiroshima bomb and at a depth of 1.5 kilometers. KP also notes that subterranean nuclear blasts were used as much as 169 times in the Soviet Union to accomplish fairly mundane tasks like creating underground storage spaces for gas or building canals.”
And those 169 underground blasts do not count the Soviet military’s tests of various atomic-yield weapons, the paper noted.
Russia’s success in capping major oil leaks with nuclear demolitions has an almost perfect record of success: only one detonation failed to accomplish its purpose. The last such explosion took place in 1979, according to Ioffe.
During the same period, the United States also had a “peaceful nuclear explosions” program called Operation Plowshare. U.S. officials abandoned it due to environmental concerns.
Conspiracies rum amok
Meanwhile, a variety of conspiracy theories about the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig have emerged, with some suggesting that it may have been an Obama administration inside job, an attack by environmental terrorists, an indirect result of people liking meat or even an act of God.
One theory in particular that’s been circling conspiracy sites claims the disaster was caused by a North Korean torpedo as a way of presenting an “impossible dilemma” to President Obama ahead of the United Nations nuclear summit, with the goal being total chaos in the world’s nuclear arms debate. The writer, going by the name “Sorcha Faal”, sourced the claim as part of a “grim” report circulating the Kremlin, providing no additional details as to how the information was obtained. That was apparently good enough for “The European Union Times,” which ran the claims in-full.
Blogger Chris Baskind, writing for More Minimal, retorted:
Though theÃ‚Â EU Times doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t attribute its source, a quick Google reveals the author to beÃ‚Â Sorcha Faal, the well-know internet hoaxer. For perspective, some of FaalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s recent potboilers:
- Parliament Of Owls Gives Ã¢â‚¬ËœFinal WarningÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ To America
- US Quake Test Goes Ã¢â‚¬Å“Horribly WrongÃ¢â‚¬Â, Leaves 500,000 Dead In Haiti
- Ring Of Fire Eclipse Gives Grave Warning To World
- Norway Time Hole Ã¢â‚¬Å“LeakÃ¢â‚¬Â Plunges Northern Hemisphere Into Chaos
- Ã¢â‚¬Å“Who Are They?Ã¢â‚¬Â Russian Scientists Ask About Mysterious Objects Near Sun
Little green men, earthquake machines, and an accusatory congress of raptors. Entertaining stuff, but not a pedigree which lends much credence to the North Korean mini-sub story.
In the days following the blast, credible suspicion almost immediately began circulating around Halliburton, ex-Vice President Dick Cheney’s former company, which was cementing the well cap when the explosion hit, killing 11 workers and initiating the ecological disaster. The firm was also tapped to aid the government’s investigation, according to the Associated Press.
As a stipulation in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed by US and Russian officials earlier this year, the United States on Tuesday revealed the size of its active nuclear warhead stockpile for only the second time in history. According to the Pentagon, at the end of Sept. 2009, the U.S. had 5,113 nuclear warheads: down massively from the 31,255 warheads stockpiled in America circa 1967.
At time of this writing, the gulf oil geyser was jetting 210,000 gallons of crude per day, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. BP claimed their best efforts to stop the oil vent may take up to three months.