Thursday, June 3, 2010

Plugging the BP Leak: What's Your Idea?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 2:40 PM

British Petroleum has reportedly received more than 23,500 suggestions for ways to stop its oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. They range from flash-burning the oil underwater at the release point to nuking the whole thing.

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My idea, which I've tried out on a few colleagues to skeptical looks, is this: The offending blow-out pipe is 20 inches across. Why not create a, say, 40-foot-long cylindrical steel pole that tapers from a point to 20-inches wide, with a flat cap on top. For want of a better image, think of a round pencil. Insert the pointy end into the pipe slowly, until the widening end eventually blocks the flow and caps it. Then weld that sucker in place.

Genius, right? Probably not. There are probably a zillion reasons that wouldn't work. But I swear I woke up thinking about this and it made perfect sense. How about you? Got any ideas?

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