"We sat long and hard about this test," Thad W. Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral who is the national incident commander, said in a news conference. "In the interest of the American people, and the safety of the environment, it was advisable to take a 24-hour break to make sure were getting it absolutely right." (Retired Admiral Thad Allen)
Emotions are not necessary during critical times. Steady hands and steady minds are paramount to 'steadying' the ship.
When one thinks about it, the last thing the American people needed was a 'rush' to close the well and test the new cap and experience yet another failure. The well head has a very high pressure and there are many, many things that can still cause failure of the new cap. No one wants that to happen. If going slow and 'securing' the new cap in a way so all the seals are intact and all the 'parts' become the 'whole' then it will be worth it.
I remind, this well head is highly unstable AND in testimony to the USA Legislature it was obvious one of the aspects of the well that failed were the 'seals.' We can't repeat that mistake. CAN'T.
Six hours is not so long to wait for the next 'stage.' We have gotten used to a 'countdown' for space ship liftoffs and this in many ways is no less critical. There are times NASA gets down ot 60 seconds and counting and the count is held. This might be the best way of looking at the closure of the well head.
I hope the methane explosion didn't do any damage to the well. Let's hope the explosion was all above sea level.
Thank you, Admiral Allen.
From The Washington Post:
...Much-hyped (by me, among others) (click title to entry - thank you) "integrity test" of the Macondo well has been delayed, pushing off what seemed to be a credible hope for shutting down the "nightmare well." Here's my story. Why'd they delay it? Don't know. They didn't say. I'll try to find out. Maybe nervous? The feds may think it's too dangerous. Might just be due dilgence or it could be a genuine philosophical schism betwixt feds and BP over the best way to proceed. Adm. Allen calls the shots but he's got a team of scientists in there who may want to ponder this before they pull the trigger....