Dome, container box or contraption? The next plan to stop the gushing oil

The World

Last night at around 8:00 p.m. the “Joe Griffin,” a 280-foot container boat, left Port Fourchoun, Louisiana for a fifty mile trip to the site of the collapsed Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

The barge carried a 100 ton steel container box that will be lowered down through 5,000 feet of water and, hopefully, over the top of the gushing oil rig. This is the latest plan to collect the crude flowing freely into the Gulf of Mexico – and it’s never been tested before under these conditions. It’s a technique so rarely applied that reporters haven’t known what to call the container box, alternating between “dome,” “box,” and even “contraption.” In fact, technology to contain and clean up after oil spills hasn’t evolved much for decades and has been left way behind advances in other areas of the oil industry.

We talk with Jim Meigs, Editor-in-Chief of Popular Mechanics about the technologies, high and low, being employed to contain the damage in the Gulf. We also get an update on the progress of the “Joe Griffin” and other efforts to fight the oil from Dave Cohen, News Director of WWL Radio in New Orleans.

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