The Little-Known Story Of How The USSR Used A Nuke To Put Out A Fire

Sep 10, 2015 By John-Michael Bond
Plugging a leaking gas well is a complicated and dangerous process. What might work in one situation might not work in another. In 1966, the USSR was dealing with fires in five natural gas wells. They tried everything, including pumping in water via hydraulic fracturing, but were unable to extinguish the problem. So how did they finally stop the leaks? They used a 30 kiloton nuclear bomb.

Scientists created a 20,000 ft deep hole near the leak site. They then lowered the bomb into the borehole, covered it in cement, and detonated the device. The nuclear explosion put out the fires within 23 seconds by smothering them with tons of disrupted earth. You can see the moment of detonation at 2:35 in the video. The incredible power of the bomb saved the day. Most remarkably, no radiation was discovered in the surrounding area after the detonation.
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