Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Oil Well Leak Disruption

Retasking "Rods from Gods"
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--One of the stranger "Star Wars Defense" ideas was to drop really big tungsten penetrators (think large caliber cannon barrels) from LEO. The damned things didn't have to have explosive warheads: just the kinetic energy of the fall would cause the destruction. They could penetrate earth deep enough to be 'bunker busters' too. --So, thinks me, the Russians have used nuclear 'devices' to compress geologic strata to choke off gushers before; why can't we position a ring of large steel or tungsten penetrators in a suitably large ring around the well, then ram them into the surrounding soil at high speed to great depth, using explosives positioned above each one as a 'thruster'? The resulting shockwaves would converge on the drill pipe and crush it, choking off the flow of oil over a long vertical column, the surest method to plug a 'hole'
Steamboat, Jun 23 2010


       Is not possible that you would plug the current small hole, and instead open up a large annular gap?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 23 2010

       But it's 2000 PSI *water* down there! Explosives will create a spherical shockwave: how do you accelerate a "rod" with that? (And even if you could it wouldn't take long to dissipate any KE with all that drag: bullets don't work under water.) I like the pinch idea (like the shaped charges in a nuke that make the plutonium go supercritical) but that seems more likely to excavate/cavitate that seal anything.
rmutt, Jun 23 2010

       //just the kinetic energy of the fall would cause the destruction//   

       Use smart spikes. Long rods with fins and a control system. Drop a long iron spike at the surface, and one mile down it will be travelling at several hundred mph. If you were good enough, you could put it right down the riser pipe. And with a small taper, it's a plug.
ldischler, Jun 23 2010


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