The New York Times today has a long, detailed investigation into the concrete causes of the April 20 Deepwater Horizon disaster. It describes how the well was equipped with only one blind shear ram, not a prudent two, and how the shear ram's hydraulic system failed, preventing it from shutting off the flow. Specialized gamma-ray imaging determined, weeks later, that all efforts to fix the ram had been in vain. "The last line of defense was a useless carcass of steel."
The article also details that the Macondo well was known to be a "nightmare well" long before the blowout, and that BP cut financial corners again and again in its construction.
Read the whole story here.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.