Wednesday, 31 March 2021

When the US had a plan in the 1960s to blast an alternative Suez Canal through Israel using 520 nuclear bombs

With the giant carrier ship Ever Given of the EverGreen fleet finally disloged from being laterally beached across the Suez canal for several stressful days, I found this story of a possible alternative Suez canal across Israel's Negev Desert, using hundreds nuclear bombs to clear the way intriguing! The US had a plan in the 1960s to blast an alternative Suez Canal through Israel using 520 nuclear bombs https://www.businessinsider.com/us-planned-suez-canal-alternative-israel-blast-with-nuclear-bombs-1960s-2021-3?amp Marianne Guenot March 25, 2021, 7:59 AM ch An annotated map of Egypt and Israel shows the placement of the existing Suez Canal and an approximation of plans for a canal through Israel that the US considered in the 1960s. Google Maps/Insider • A declassified memorandum reveals a 1963 US plan to create an alternative to the Suez Canal. • It would have excavated more than 160 miles through Israel's Negev desert with nuclear bombs. The US considered a proposal to use 520 nuclear bombs to carve out an alternative to the Suez Canal though Israel in the 1960s, according to a declassified memorandum. The plan never came to fruition, but having an alternative waterway to the Suez Canal could have been useful today, with a cargo ship stuck in the narrow path and blocking one of the world's most vital shipping routes. According to the 1963 memorandum, which was declassified in 1996, the plan would have relied on 520 nuclear bombs to carve out the waterway. The memo called for the "use of nuclear explosives for excavation of Dead Sea canal across the Negev desert." The historian Alex Wellerstein called the plan a "modest proposal for the Suez Canal situation" on Twitter on Wednesday. The memorandum was from the US Department of Energy-backed Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It suggested that an "interesting application of nuclear excavation would be a sea-level canal 160 miles long across Israel." Conventional methods of excavation would be "prohibitively expensive," the memo said. "It appears that nuclear explosives could be profitably applied to this situation." The memo added that "such a canal would be a strategically valuable alternative to the present Suez Canal and would probably contribute greatly to economic development."

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