|You DO use nuclear weapons, hmmm?|
The project was scrapped almost as soon as it was put together, and while it may be one of the most ridiculous uses of nuclear weapons ever thought of, it certainly is not the only one. Project Plowshare was the American government's plan starting in the 1950s and ending in the early 1970s to find a "peaceful, non-military use" for nuclear weapons.
|Project Chariot Harbor Excavation Plan|
|Cape Thompson, Alaska|
|Point Hope, Alaska|
The costs and benefits of defeating this project were mixed; on one hand the Iñupiat people ushered in an new age of Alaskan Native activism that would eventually lead to the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. However, the University of Alaska scientists who opposed the project, William Pruitt and Leslie Viereck, found themselves out of a job and blacklisted from other institutions in the United States. So bad was the experience for Pruitt and his family (his mother was interrogated by the FBI) he moved to Canada in 1965 and did not return to the United States until his friends and colleagues successfully campaigned the University of Alaska to reinstate both him and Leslie Viereck.
The year was 1993.
For more information on Project Chariot and the battle waged against it, see Dan O'Neill's "Alaska and the Firecracker Boys" in Bruce Hevly and John M. Findlay's The Atomic West.