Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
"Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Landmine clearance with Nuclear waste

Clear mines with spent fuel rods,etc.
  [vote for,

Mineclearing is a serious business, which the most wealthy countries in the world avoid like the plague. Why? Well, obviously there's a liability issue. If you miss a few and someone dies, the wealthier countries have laws that would make you responsible.

The cheapest way to clear a minefield is to repeatedly smash it with something heavy, and cheap. Scrap metal might work, but this could attract collectors, who would be endangered. Thus we want to use something which either has no value, or which is otherwise undesirable to collect. What can we use then?

The obvious answer is: NUCLEAR WASTE!

Containing large amounts of plutonium, and uranium, these are some of the densest materials on the planet, giving them added weight for smashing bombs. Most fuel rods contain some quantity of iron as well, so that magnetic-triggered bombs will go off too.

The fact that the nuclear waste is radioactive has a number of benefits as well.

Considering the dangerous nature of the radioactive waste, anyone who has it will be all to glad to donate it for a worthy cause.

Warning signs will need to be left up for centuries. Therefore anyone who is injured by a mine that the sweepers missed has no legal recourse.

The radiation will discourage any reasonable person from going onto the minefield until long after most mines would probably have degraded into harmless materials.

The swept area will probably have to be left in a "natural" state, allowing for preserves.

Should war continue in the area, the radiation will encourage more random mutation, which will encourage a more rapid evolution of landmine-resistant humans, animals, or crops. Then we wouldn't have to worry about mines any more.

ye_river_xiv, May 25 2008


       The problem with depleted uranium and other waste is that it does not explode, and so delivers only the kinetic energy imparted to it by taking it up in a plane. Thus one would have to strike the mine directly with the waste. Mines are small and fields are big.   

       Now,perhaps this waste can be incorporated into bombs which explode above the surface. I still suspect that surface features (crops, domestic animals, rocks) will make it hard to hit the mines from the air.   

       No, semiautonomous robots are the only solution. I mean froglets solar powered mine mule.
bungston, May 25 2008

       //more rapid evolution of landmine resistant humans//   

sninctown, May 25 2008

       Errrr ... the physics and chemistry of this is so completely wrong that it's hard to know where to start ..........
8th of 7, May 25 2008

       //more rapid evolution of landmine resistant humans//   

       This comment alone, saved you from getting boned.   

       {resigned sigh} It's so hard for me to remain neutral.
MikeD, May 25 2008

       // rapid evolution //   

       Unnatural selection ?
8th of 7, May 25 2008

       <envisions roving bands of mutated treasure-hunting, landmine-resistant, human-livestock hybrids selling their wares at the local flea market, shudders>
Canuck, May 25 2008

       Oh, you've been to London, then ?
8th of 7, May 25 2008

       //Oh, you've been to London, then//
sp "Camden Market"
AbsintheWithoutLeave, May 25 2008

       This plan does not involve exploding nuclear waste, Bungs. The simple fact is that radioactive materials, such as uranium, and plutonium have a heavier atomic mass than iron, because Iron is at the "bottom" of the atomic energy scale. Iron cannot be fused or fissioned to release energy.   

       Dropping metal from a height has already been proposed as one way to take care of mines, but since the metal in question is considered valuable, and safe to gather, the plan was rejected, as the "scrap metal" might attract visitors.
ye_river_xiv, May 25 2008

       // the "scrap metal" might attract visitors //   

       ... and so, one way or the other, the mines get cleared.
8th of 7, May 26 2008


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle