Technology: A-Blast for Copper

Under its Plowshare program, the Atomic Energy Commission has been investigating the use of nuclear explosives to blast out harbors and canals, to create underground storage cavities, and to release natural gas and oil locked beneath the surface of the earth. Now, in an attempt to do something about growing shortages of copper in the U.S., a team of scientists has worked out a nuclear plan to mine billions of tons of copper-bearing ore too poor to be mined by traditional methods.

Scientists from the AEC, the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the University of California's Lawrence Radiation Laboratory and the Kennecott...

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