Like many people, I am saddened and distressed by the massive oil leak destroying the Gulf of Mexico, for a whole bunch of reasons.
As a child who grew up sketching mushroom clouds during the height of the cold war, I was intrigued when I came across this vid from the youtube, plotting the Nuclear explosions across the world last century.
I was and was staggered the number of devices popped was as high as 2053.
I wondered what the equivalent energy from these blasts would represent in terms of the oil gushing out from the seabed would be? So here is some simple maths...
- 1 gallon of oil is about 145 MJ of energy.
- 1 nuclear blast, about the size of Hiroshima is about 80 TJ of energy.
Some simple division has
- 1 nuclear blast = 550,000 gallons of oil
Taking the British Petroleum company's worst estimate, 2.5 Million gallons per day
(experts have this much higher...)
That's about 5 nuclear blasts per day in the Gulf.
As of the 9th of July, 2010 they oil has been gushing for around 80 days.
That a total of 400 Nuclear blast equivalents.
It's also a kinda scary number.