So, with the millions of gallons of oil spewing from the wreck of the Deepwater Horizon into the Gulf of Mexico, the US is experiencing its worst ever environmental disaster. The attempts to stem the tide of oil have failed and it may now be months before it’s stopped.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Just what can be done? How about resurrecting Operation Plowshare? That’s right, it’s being suggested that an already terrible situation be made worse: that a nuclear weapon be used to seal the BP oil spill.

We’re talking about detonating a nuclear warhead 50 miles off the US coast. The ‘peaceful’ use of nuclear weapons hasn’t been tested since the 1960s and 1970s. People have mentioned that the Russians used the technique to seal four leaks in 1966, 1968, and 1972. The thing is, these were all gas fires at land based locations, not oil leaks under the sea. In 1981, an attempt to seal a gas leak near the mouth of the Pechora River with a nuclear weapon failed.

According to the US Department of Energy, the sites where US and Russian tests were conducted ‘must be restricted and monitored forever’. If BP and the authorities were powerless to prevent oil from the Deepwater Horizon decimating the Louisana coast, what chance do they have with a nuclear explosion?