The US proposal
- 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.
But why nuclear bombs
- 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.“
- Conventional methods of excavation would be “prohibitively expensive,” the memo said.
But why Negev desert?
- The laboratory noted that there were 130 miles of “virtually unpopulated desert wasteland, and are thus amenable to nuclear excavation methods.“
- The “crude preliminary investigation” suggested that using bombs to create a canal through Israel “appears to be within the range of technological feasibility,” the memo said.
- The memo conceived that one problem, which the authors had not taken into consideration, might be “political feasibility,
- As it is likely that the Arab countries surrounding Israel would strongly object to the construction of such a canal.”
Why this alternative plan in 1963?
- 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.
“Peaceful nuclear explosions”
- The memo came as the US Atomic Energy Commission was investigating using “peaceful nuclear explosions” to dig out useful infrastructure,Forbes reported in 2018.
- There were also plans to use this method to dig out a canal in Central America, Forbes reported.
- But the PNE project remained experimental, after the US found that 27 experiments with PNEs heavily irradiated the landscape.
Q) The Straits of Tiran is between which two countries?
- Egypt & Israel
- Israel & Saudi Arabia
- Saudi Arabia & Egypt
- Sudan & Saudi Arabia