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13. Re: Nuclear Option Jun 4, 2010, 14:08 DG
The nuke idea is to impact the sea bed rock so it collapses and seals the well. Basically the "hit it with a kiloton hammer" approach.

But, it could also open up the well with a fissure that would be basically impossible to seal. High pressure oil and gas would just surge out at vastly higher volume than presently. This in turn would erode the weakened rock... Not forgetting that you've just blown up all other options.

Currently they have a broken pipe that has a (albeit failed) device on it designed to stop the flow. I'm no engineer, but I'm pretty sure that offers a lot more opportunities to stop the flow or at least has less risk of it getting worse than setting off a bomb and hoping.

They can't just crimp the pipe because of the amount of pressure. They tried clogging it up with drilling fluid, mud, clay, golf balls, rubber and cement and it didn't work.

It's looking like they've been successful with the containment cap which will syphon off much of the leak, while the permanent fix is the relief wells being drilled (which will basically be a functioning well that takes over the flow and pressure, so the leaking one can be plugged relatively easily).
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