1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Nuclear physics and the oil spill.

  1. May 20, 2010 #1
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/...ts-to-tackle-BPs-Gulf-of-Mexico-oil-leak.html

    I don't know a damn thing about nuclear physics so can anyone shed some light here? How does this apply to nuclear physics? What are some of the ideas that they could be considering?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2010 #2

    mathman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Nuclear physics as such has nothing to do with the oil spill. However nuclear physicists tend to be pretty imaginative, so I presume they are there to add their smarts.
     
  4. May 20, 2010 #3

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Just a stab in the dark, but nuclear densometers have been used to measure the mass of materials for over 30 years. Combined with ultrasonic flow-detection, such technology could perhaps nail down the true flow-rates of the leaks.
     
  5. May 20, 2010 #4
    I was thinking that may be the case too. Just like a blue-ribbon commission in general. Kind of like how Feynman was a top guy on the panel investigating the Challenger shuttle. Just curious as to why so many nuclear physicists in particular.
     
  6. May 20, 2010 #5
    Thanks for that information. The news articles don't say really anything about details.
     
  7. May 20, 2010 #6
    Never send a professor to do an engineer's job.
     
  8. May 20, 2010 #7
    Because it was Chu's idea to round up a bunch of top people from the DOE labs, and they tend to have quite a few nuclear physicists.
     
  9. May 20, 2010 #8

    OmCheeto

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    Never send an engineer to do a technicians job.

    As a former nuclear technician, I can assure you, I solved several problems that the engineers stood around just scratching their heads wondering what to design to fix the problem.

    Sometimes, you just need to fix the problem immediately, regardless of how many pop rivets and rolls of duct tape it might take.

    Prettiness can wait until you are safely back at dock.
     
  10. May 21, 2010 #9
    The idea is too set off a nuclear detonation to fuse the dang thing closed with the heat.
    That seems to be the implication.
    The Russians did it a few years back (in the 60's) to seal a large uncontrollable natural gas leak they couldn't shut down, several times, I believe.
    However, I wouldn't advise inviting the Russians over to try it here.
    Besides, Obama would never be able to withstand the wrath of the environ-mentalists' if he tried it. ;)) It would be political suicide.
    And besides, using nukes for engineering problem solving really opens up the excuse ridden rationale for every 3rd world country to develop nukes.....(or borrow one from their friendly anti-Western neighbors).
    Just my opinion...

    Creator.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  11. May 21, 2010 #10

    mathman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That's the craziest idea I've heard yet!
     
  12. May 21, 2010 #11
    Yea, and the bottom sucking Catfish, crabs and oysters don't seem to like the idea either. ;))

    ,,,
     
  13. May 22, 2010 #12
    OK; Here ya have it....Live from Russia....

    Gas flame was huge but the oil gushed out and flooded the countryside.
    Notice how c-a-r-efully this guy lowered the nuke into the newly drilled directional well.
    It wasn't the heat, however..... it was the blast pressure that closed it.
    See how easy that was? :))

    Creator ;))
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  14. May 22, 2010 #13
    When you have a leak you put pressure on it that exceeds the outflow pressure.
    So, why can't we drop a few thousand tons(or whatever) of material to do this?

    Brute force method, I say!
     
  15. May 22, 2010 #14

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  16. May 22, 2010 #15
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Nuclear physics and the oil spill.
Loading...