'China’s appetite for energy to fuel its massive manufacturing-based economy spans the globe, making it the world’s number one importer of natural gas. Yet China’s dreams of energy self-sufficiency have driven it not only to make a steady transition toward renewable energy such as hydroelectric, solar, and wind power, but also toward another controversial source of power.
That source? Fracking, the process of extracting gas and oil from shale rock with jets of pressurized water, sand and chemicals. Critics have blasted fracking for its huge environmental costs as well as its potential to trigger earthquakes.
But this isn’t just any fracking – it’s fracking through a new “energy rod” that operates using the same technology as advanced nuclear bombs and could set off major earthquakes in a region historically known for its devastating seismic activity, according to a new report from South China Morning Post.
China is home to the largest gas reserves on the planet, with U.S. Energy Information Agency estimates totaling 31.6 trillion cubic meters, about double that of the United States and Australia combined. Yet China is still struggling to reach its rich deposits of gas, which lie about 11,500 feet below sea level – a depth that regular hydraulic fracturing has proven unable to reach.
So now, a team of some of the world’s most advanced nuclear weapons scientists is hoping to “trigger another shale gas revolution,” similar to the wave of hydraulic fracturing the United States has experienced since 2007, which has seen the U.S. transform itself from importer to exporter.
Led by Professor Zhang Yongming from the State Key Laboratory of Controlled Shock Waves at Xian Jiaotong University, the scientists will soon test a method in Sichuan province that could lead China to achieve energy independence sooner than previously thought.'
Read more: China To Use Nuclear Detonator In Fracking Project That Could Trigger Earthquakes
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