The United States had a plan to use 520 nuclear bombs to create a canal to replace Suez

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2021-03-28 16:35:39

The United States considered the proposal to use 520 nuclear bombs to create an alternative to Israel’s Suez Canal in the 1960s, according to a declassified memo. The plan never came to fruition, but having an alternative waterway to the Suez Canal today can help, when a cargo ship gets stuck in a narrow passage and blocks one of the routes. the world’s most important shipping.

According to the 1963 memo, declassified in 1996, the plan relied on 520 nuclear bombs to create the waterway. The memorandum calls for “the use of nuclear explosives to dig a Dead Sea canal in the Negev desert”. A possible route the memorandum proposes stretches across the Negev desert in Israel, linking the Mediterranean with the Gulf of Aqaba, opening up the entrance to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. A memo from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory states that an “interesting application of nuclear excavation will be a 257 km above sea level canal through Israel”.

The memo came as the US Atomic Energy Commission was investigating the use of a “peaceful nuclear explosion” to dig up utility infrastructure, Forbes reported in 2018. The memo states the Ordinary excavation methods will be “extremely expensive”. “It seems that nuclear explosives can be lucratively applied to this situation.”

The memorandum added that “such a canal would be a valuable replacement for the existing Suez Canal and would likely contribute greatly to economic development”. On Twitter, historian Alex Wellerstein called the scheme a “humble proposition for the Suez Canal situation”. There are also plans to use the same method to dig a canal in the central US, Forbes reported.

As part of the pricing, the memo estimates, would require four 2-megatons per mile, which Wellerstein calculates would require “520 nuclear devices” or 1.04 gigatons of explosives. The lab notes that there are 209 km of “virtually uninhabited desert wasteland, and therefore applicable to nuclear excavation methods”.

The memo said a “preliminary investigation” showed that using the bomb to create a canal through Israel “appeared to be within the technological feasibility range”. But the memorandum conveys that an issue that the authors have yet to take into account may be “political feasibility, since there is a possibility that Arab countries around Israel will strongly oppose building a canal.” so”.

But the Tranquil Nuclear Explosions (Pneum) project remains experimental, after the US discovered that 27 experiments with Pneum have caused severe radiation exposure to the terrain. The Atomic Energy Commission was dissolved in 1974, while the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory remained in existence. According to information on its website, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a mission to “ensure the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrence”.

The 1963 Memorandum also comes less than a decade after the Suez Crisis (or the Second Arab-Israeli War, also known as the Tripartite Invasion and the Sinai War in Israel) that began on 29 / 10/1956, when Israeli armed forces entered Egypt towards the Suez Canal after Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-70) nationalized the canal, a waterway that had a controlling value. / 3 amount of oil used by Europe.

The Israelis were soon joined by French and British forces in order to regain control of the Suez Canal for Western powers and to eliminate Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. The incident caused the Soviet Union to step in and destroy their relationship with America. In the end, Egypt won, and the British, French and Israeli governments withdrew in late 1956 and early 1957.

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