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Here is a blast from the past. At one time, a-bombs were going to be used to dig canals. It is rumored that some huge caves were created with a-bombs in Nevada which, after the radiation subsided, became underground bases.
… If nuclear explosives are placed in “strings” with the distance between them equal to half the diameter of the crater that a single shot would dig, and if they are exploded simultaneously, they will excavate a smooth-bottomed ditch, throwing the rock to the sides. One hundred shots, for instance, of 100 kilotons each, will dig a ditch 1,600 ft. wide, 350 ft. deep and 16 miles long. If its bottom is 60-odd ft. below sea level, it can serve as a spacious ship canal.Clean Clouds. When a crater-making shot is fired, a mushroom of earth grows out of the ground above the explosion. A jet of hot gas raises a dust cloud high in the air. Most of the dust and debris settle immediately, and hardly any dust falls more than 21 miles from the crater. This dust is not very radioactive. Nearly all of the shot’s radioactivity is buried deep under the rubble that falls back into the hole. Ploughshare men are sure that if modern, “clean” explosives are used, the radioactivity that escapes will be of little significance. – time