From Green Right Now Reports

“A gusher of creative ideas” is how the president of the Principal Investigators Association described the response to an appeal to members for ideas on how to stop the BP oil leak.

Oil continues to flow from the BP, newly fitted with a vented cap (Photo: ABC News)

Oil continues to flow from the BP, newly fitted with a vented cap (Photo: ABC News)

More than 250 suggestions came in from scientist readers of the group’s online magazine P.I. e-Alert this past weekend.

“We figured the 300,000 recipients of our ezine cover all fields of research, so they could generate some ‘outside-the-box’ thinking to get that Gulf oil blowout harnessed,” said Leslie C. Norins, MD, PhD, the group’s president.

The call went out in a special edition of the magazine on June 4. Within 24 hours, Norins had more than 250 submissions, which the non-profit group forwarded to the White House and BP.

Some of the proposals:

  • Crimp the pipe said several of the scientist-readers responding. Crimp slowly at various points, in stages, until the outward flow of oil is slowed sufficiently to effectively cap or cement the open end.
  • Blow it up!  Several suggestions involved explosives. Some wanted “bunker buster” bombs or torpedoes fired into the pipe. Several experienced scientists advocated using tactical nuclear weapons, maintaining that the overlying ocean would shield all radioactivity (or result in an ocean-sized fish fry).
  • Freeze it, said others. Use the tendency of oil to gum up at very cold temperatures to best advantage by adding liquid nitrogen, thereby slowing or stopping the oil. Others said use liquid oxygen, which could add nutrients to the ocean as it later dissolved.
  • Close the pipe with a balloon catheter device, similar to how one might use a tiny balloon to stop a cut artery from bleeding; alternatively an umbrella type device could be inserted into the pipe and opened to stopper the well.

Other scientists suggested buying time, presumably until BP can access the well from another position, with inverted tanker vessels or water towers to collect the oil as it rises. These makeshift collection devices could be drained as they filled.

The Principal Investigators Association is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Naples, Florida. It provides leading scientists in all fields with professional development and expert advice on grant applications and lab administration.