Keywords: Isthmus of Kra, nuclear dredging, piracy, shipping, Strait of Malacca, tsunami, Thailand, nuclear energy, nuclear power, cutter-head suction dredges, canal excavation, dredge spoils, heavy minerals, mining
Kra Canal (Thailand) excavation by nuclear-powered dredges
Partial excavation of a Kra Canal in Thailand by nuclear-powered cutter-head suction dredges is examined. Such automated digging by a floating machine is deemed economically and geologically feasible. International and intranational commerce will be benefited greatly as will the residents of peninsular Thailand. The 26 December 2004 tsunami (particularly at Ko Phuket on the Andaman Sea coast) indicates that more offshore and seaboard geological investigations must be carried out to ensure safe operation of the Kra Canal. Dredge spoils, if selectively sorted, have an unknown economic value in terms of heavy mineral mining potential. After the construction of the Kra Canal, the nuclear-powered dredges may find permanent useful work in the Malacca Strait, Sunda Strait and in the Gulf of Thailand or be used elsewhere.