The Nuclear Option
Against British Sabotage in Our Gulf
by Laurence Hecht
June 13—It appears increasingly likely that recourse to use of a peaceful nuclear explosive (PNE), may become the only available option to seal the damaged BP well in the Gulf of Mexico, 41 miles off our coast.
Such a measure can be carried out with virtually zero danger of radioactive release, according to experts, including Milo Nordyke, a former chief scientist on the U.S. Operation Plowshare program for peaceful use of nuclear explosives.
A 10- to 15-kiloton nuclear device would be placed within 20 to 30 feet of the well bore, at a depth below 6,000 feet, where no danger of wave formation from deformation of the sea floor could occur. The explosion would produce a shock wave that would push rock horizontally against the well bore, sealing it shut. That would close the hole, well below the probable cracks that may exist in the upper 1,200-foot layer of mud and soft rock. In a worst-case scenario in which the well failed to seal, the minimal amount of radioactive material that might escape up the well would be so diluted upon mixing with seawater as to render it harmless. Smaller nuclear devices, carried by projectiles of a classified nature which could be injected directly down the well bore, are also possible.
Whether or not it becomes necessary to use such a device, it is urgent that preparations be made now for such an eventuality. There is growing evidence that the well is releasing oil at a rate of 90,000 barrels per day or greater, while the likelihood of success of the relief wells has been called into question. Stratigraphic studies, design and building of the device, and preparations for deployment all take time, time which has been lost by the Administration policy of denial. Expertise in these matters resides among specialists at the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories.
Such a program can be carried out only under U.S. government authority. The urgent need for preparing the nuclear option thus provides one more reason why BP must be expropriated under national security emergency measures, its records seized, and its top executives jailed and held for trial on crimes including the criminally negligent homicide in the death of 11 oil rig workers. That will require the removal of the British tool presently occupying the master bedroom at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
A greater challenge might arise, if BP actually drilled to 30,000 feet, or below, and is tapping into a deep formation at very high pressures (see below)—another reason why we must take over, and gain control of the situation.
The Other Nuclear
Apart from such immediately required measures, the unfolding crisis in the Gulf brings to the fore a more far-reaching, yet most urgent necessity.
The underlying cause of the Gulf Oil Crisis has been our failure to go nuclear. Supporting the present world population of 6.8 billion persons at a decently human living standard cannot be accomplished with the present mix of energy and raw-material-extraction technologies.
The widespread introduction of high energy-flux-density power sources, starting now with nuclear power, and moving on to controlled thermonuclear fusion, and later, to matter-antimatter reactions, is essential to ensuring our future survival.
For now, nuclear power is the key to replacing our present dependence upon fossil-based fuels. The energy contained in 1.86 grams (0.07 ounces) of processed uranium is equal to 1,260 gallons of petroleum and 6.15 tons of coal. Comparing these ratios of energy output, per weight of fuel, provides an approximate sort of measure for the concept of energy flux-density. By such measure, the advantage of nuclear comes to 2.16 million to 1, as compared to oil, and 2.98 million to 1, as compared to coal. Mastery of the thermonuclear fusion reaction will allow us to raise those ratios by several orders of magnitude, and make manned interplanetary space flight a reality for coming generations.
The temperature and energy flux-density of the nuclear fission reaction permits the production of cheap electrical power, and of industrial process heat needed for processing ore and the desalination of seawater.
Nuclear power can also replace fossil fuels in transportation, eliminating completely the dependence upon imported oil and deep offshore drilling. The temperature and high energy-flux of a nuclear reaction permits us to economically separate water into its constituent atoms. The hydrogen so produced can be burned as a fuel, either directly, or by recombination in fuel cells. Synthetic hydrocarbon fuels and various types of hydrogen carriers, such as ammonia, may also be produced to supply specialized needs for liquid fuels. The abundant electricity produced by nuclear power will supply battery-powered vehicles, and more importantly, provide the power to a nationwide grid of magnetically levitated high-speed rail.
To bring the present world population up to acceptable standards of living will require the production of at least 6,000 new nuclear power plants within the next generation. Wind and solar energy installations not only cannot meet that need, but cost more, in actual physical economic measure, than they contribute to an economy.
A more precise definition of energy flux-density is transformative power. Beyond the already cited advantages, a nuclear reaction produces a change in the structure of the atomic nucleus such as will never occur in a windmill, solar cell, or oil-, gas-, or coal-fired power plant. The next phase of our economic development, the isotope economy, will involve the production of new materials, including those of varied isotopic composition, for use in industry, agriculture, medicine, and space colonization. We will get a start on this through our gear-up for mass serial production of nuclear plants, including new design types, such as the high-temperature gas-cooled reactors, integral fast-flux reactors which breed more new fuel than they consume, and similar proven designs. With the development of thermonuclear fusion reactors, other capabilities become possible. Mastery of the low-energy nuclear reactions ("cold fusion") will also contribute to the isotope economy, adding new dimensions to our understanding of nuclear transmutations.
The intentional suppression of that just-described economic future has been the central feature of British imperial policy over at least the past half century. The specifically stated intention of leading British figures, including Prince Philip, the late Lord Bertrand Russell, and former H.G. Wells collaborator Julian Huxley, has been to carry out a drastic reduction in human population, to fewer than 2 billion persons.
What Caused the Blowout?
Lacking nuclear power, the push to ever deeper drilling for oil and gas resources was inevitable. Whether the blowout of the Macondo well was due to the greed and utter incompetence of BP officials, or, as also appears possible, it was a willful act of sabotage, such an event was, in any case, inevitable, sooner or later.
It may be that the blown-out BP well is not at the 18,000-foot depth cited in the company's public relations efforts, but at 30,000 feet, or that other deep wells in the vicinity have tapped into formations, known as oil migration channels, at this depth. There is evidence that the theory of Russian geologist Vladimir Kutcherov, according to which oil is continuously formed deep within the Earth's crust, at depths of 30,000 feet or greater, may have been secretly adopted by the oil cartel, at the same time that the theory was publicly discredited and dismissed.
Under this theory, drilling on the cracks between continental plates, or in such formations as are found in much of the Gulf of Mexico, would tap into these rich reserves. Soviet oil and gas production may have already exploited such deep faults, possibly below 30,000 feet. Kutcherov, in collaboration with scientists from the Russian of Academy of Sciences, experimentally demonstrated the production of methane, and heavier hydrocarbons of the alkane series, from a mixture of calcium carbonate, iron oxide, and water, maintained at extremely high pressures and temperatures, such as are found deep within the Earth. The origin of deep oil would thus be abiogenic, confirming the earlier hypotheses of Alexander von Humboldt, Dmitri Mendeleyev, and Marcelin Berthelot. The biological signature found in oil is a result of dissolved organic matter in the abiogenic petroleum, according to the Russian-Ukrainian theory. The action of deep-dwelling life forms upon the already produced hydrocarbons may also play a part.
The Soviet use of peaceful nuclear explosives for oil and gas exploration may have been operating on this view. This was the same program which pioneered the technique for sealing runaway gas-well fires, using small nuclear charges placed in slant wells which intersected the runaway well several thousand feet down. That program was successful in all its attempts, closing five wells and reducing pressure in a sixth, according to a report, published in 2000, by Milo Nordyke of Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.
There is some indication that advanced thermal imaging techniques, using satellites, may have been carried out by U.S. government agencies, beginning in the 1980s, in an attempt to map these formations in the Gulf. It is possible that BP obtained access to that classified data for use in its Gulf exploration campaign.
There is also indication that BP is presenting the public a Hollywood-like scenario of its operations on the sea floor. Engineering experts point out that the Cameron Blowout Preventer, the five-story tower which sits, or once sat, on the sea floor at the well outlet, was designed for a maximum pressure of 15,000 pounsd per square inch (psi), while the explosion appears to trained observers to have produced pressures in excess of 30,000 psi. In that case, the blowout preventer would have been damaged beyond functionality. The device we see in the live video streams may be a second blowout preventer, which is getting its oil by piping from the main well, or a nearby production facility. The main well may be completely open, according to some industry insiders.
Thus the Macondo blowout may be the result of having struck into extremely high-pressure migration channels of deep oil. Or, there may be an element of willful sabotage in creating the disaster, directed by British interests against the United States. In either case, the time for expropriation, and preparation of the nuclear option, is now.
The author is the Editor of 21st Century Science & Technology.