Nuclear Excavation – and Idea Whose Time Has Come – and Gone, Thank Goodness

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Maybe I’m the only one – but I’ll bet that I’m not – did you know that there was once a plan to do something called “nuclear excavation” – or “nuclear earthmoving”, i.e. using nuclear explosions to move massive amounts of earth for excavation projects?

In fact, not only was it planned, but it was tested, under the auspices of a government project formed specifically to study nuclear excavation and nuclear earthmoving. The project was called “Operation Plowshare” (or sometimes “Project Plowshare”).

Holy irradiated earth, Mutantman!

Thank goodness it was eventually abandoned, but not before four test explosions were performed, mostly aimed at proving how effective nuclear excavation would be for the Panama Canal.

You can read more about it here. You can also download the Executive Summary of Operation Plowshare (in PDF format) or view it in HTML format here.

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