No Kidding

In an effort to end dependence on oil, some in the United States are talking of reviving an old cold war idea for releasing natural gas and oil shale in the West, where there are no Democrats and lots of nuculer-loving Republicans.

By drilling big hole in the ground and dropping a nuclear bomb down it, gas can be released. The poster 'Heading Out', who reminds me of my cousin Billy in Edmonton, has drawn the attention of many to the potential of this method, but has encountered problems.

Apparently, when you consider the reaction of some of the posters on The Oil Drum,
as a political reality (bearing in mind that I try to stick to technical matters in this series) the use of nuclear adjustment to the local geology is not likely going to be popular.

tsk tsk. Thats what happens in the modern world. Political correctness has driven us all mad, even when we try to preclude the storm with reasonable words like this
Now before I get into the piece that follows I should explain that I don't hold any particular animus towards the states of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming or Idaho, and so when I start talking about disposing of nuclear weapons in those states by making use of them it should be taken as merely a technical discussion (grin).

Grin indeed. It does sound like a really good idea for a film. I still prefer the original Project Orion. Firing tonnes of payload into space on the back of nuclear explosions is way cooler than anvil-shooting and a whole lot more productive, I say. Not that I wouldn't like to shoot anvils anyway.

Nuclear devices were used for civil engineering briefly in Alaska, in the fifties, as I recall, but they were neither successful nor really that easy to use. The project was called Plowshare, and lasted from 1958 to 1975; a parallel Soviet project was known, Borat-style, as 'Peaceful Nuclear Explosions for National Economic Development'. I think that I blogged about it under the title 'nuclear whimsy' three years ago.

By the time of the panic of the seventies, such projects were dead and buried. Some states even wrote bans on the use of nuclear weapons on their soil into their constitutions. I'm not sure that that is constitutional in itself, but the point is moot. If B-movies have taught us nothing, and they have, its that you can't keep a good radioactive idea down.

Its not like the US can afford those weapons anymore anyway, is it? I struggle though to think that it would be any sort of shame to see them go to waste. Nuclear bombs. What would you do with them?

Here's a film of some roadbuilding, 2020 style.