Monday, May 31, 2010

Nuking the oil spill: nuclear option being considered?


The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continues to spill black venom into the sea. The world has got to see stirring images of oil gushing with decipherable great force, enough even to turn a staunch critic towards environmental protection. Initially scoffed and sniffed at, a radical solution in the form of a nuclear explosion is now trotting as a viable option to stop the oil spill. Why? Because no effort should be spared and so far, the stratagems used by BP have been futile. Might as well check out some of the efforts to contain the spill so far:

Chemical dispersants to the tune of 325,000 gallons have been used with planes spilling those 192 or more times in attempts to degrade the oil droplets. Last week, the US coast guard and the Environmental Protection Agency had authorised BP to use subsea dispersants to reduce the damage caused by the spill. These subsea dispersants are expected to break the oil into small droplets preventing them from reaching shore or surface. Billed an 'important step' in reducing the overall impact, according to initial reports these underwater dispersants are said to be 'working'. But concerns have been raised about the possible and 'not- known- yet' damage to the environment as the toxic dispersant are (Corexit 9500 and Corexit EC9527A) untested.

In a desperate move, BP is trying to use a 'Junk shot' method to stop the leak. That's right, junk like golf balls, rubber tyres, plastic tubes, ropes are being used to clog the well. These are to be fed into the Blow Out Preventer. Rewind: it was the failed BOP which started the spill in the first place after the explosion two weeks ago. This 'Junk shot' would be followed by a 'top kill' that is pumping in mud and then cement to overcome the pressure. This method has been used before in the Kuwait oil fields during the Gulf War of the nineties. All these work to be done, as earlier, by robotic submersibles operated by pilots on the surface.........the madness to read more......