How To Nuke A Gas Well
About Upcoming Video
Historic footage shows the moment a nuclear bomb is detonated thousands of feet below the surface. This was carried out to extinguish a fire in a natural gas field in the former Soviet Union.
The video from 1966 shows the huge flame burning bright in the middle of the field. Rig hands at the Urta-Bulak gas well in Uzbekistan try to douse the flames with water to no avail.
The area is then cleared and a large nuclear bomb is deposited underground. Then detonated to cut off the source of the gas.
Boreholes were drilled to a depth of almost 5,000ft, and a 30-kiloton nuclear explosive was lowered into the borehole to around 115ft from the shaft of the gas well.
The bomb, an example of a peaceful nuclear explosion (PNE), was detonated in September 1966, effectively sealing the gas well shaft.
The flame, which had been burning non-stop since 1963 and went out just 23 seconds after detonation.
No radioactivity above background levels were detected in subsequent surveys, this was according to official reports.
The nuclear charge was reported to be of ‘unprecedented force’ at the time of the experiment. This was reportedly the first time that such an explosion has been used to quell a gas‐well fire after conventional fire fighting techniques had failed.
What Happened That Day
On that cold autumn day in 1966, an underground tremor of unprecedented force shook the with a sparse grass cover on white sand.
A dusty haze rose over the desert. The orange‐colored torch of the blazing well diminished, first slowly, then more rapidly, until it flickered and finally died out.
For the first time in 1,064 days, quiet descended on the area. Imagine hearing the well raging out of control & then silence. Was an strange feeling.
By the time this explosion took place in 1966 the Soviets had possessed nuclear warheads for more than a decade.
The project to develop such weapons was birthed during World War II under Joseph Stalin.
Soviet picked up the pace significantly after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. in 1945 and conducted its first successful nuclear warhead test in 1949.
The 1966 test was part of a program known as Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy. This was used to investigate the use of nuclear weapons outside of wars.
The project, also known as Program 7, saw 115 PNEs conducted between the mid 1960s and 1988.