Nuke the oilsands: Alberta’s narrowly cancelled plan to drill for oil with atomic weapons

It’s often forgotten what a technological feat it was to pump oil out of the Fort McMurray area.

While it’s long been known that the Athabasca region is swimming with petroleum, geologists spent decades banging their head against the problem of how to turn oily sand into something that could be refined into gasoline.

Which makes it all the more fortunate that — just before science figured it out — Alberta kiboshed a plan that would have simply thrown nuclear bombs at the problem.

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