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Long-term Nuclear Warning: WIPP, Yucca Mountain

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 6 May 2006 10:41:16 -0400 (CLT)

(seen this before, but can't work out where).

The USA has chose Yucca Mountain as a long-term store of nuclear waste. 
The reasons are summarised here - http://www.nuclearactive.com/ - and the
official site is http://www.wipp.energy.gov/

This is going to be dangerous for 10,000 years.  How do you mark something
like that so that future generations understand the danger?  The
particular concern being, presumaby, if/when civilisation falls.

This report was written in the early 90s - http://downlode.org/Etext/wipp/
- it describes various options that are "psychological" (the idea is to
"look dangerous").  The architect involved describes things in more detail
here - http://www.arch.ksu.edu/seamon/Brill.htm

As this essay notes -
http://nicholnl.wcp.muohio.edu/NaturalSystems/MarkerProject.html - it's
not clear that a marker system is the best approach.  Maybe it would be
better to leave it unmarked, since it is an inhospitable place and any
marker becomes "interesting"?

Another suggestion (putting this together I can no longer find the
reference) was to leave some material on the surface - let illness and
death do the marking.  This was dismissed (for political reasons, I
guess).

In addition to the official study there was a competition for public ideas
- http://www.desertspace.org/warning_sign/uwsGallery.html  Many of the
entries were rather unimaginative rehashings of the "radiation" sign - the
best is probably
http://www.desertspace.org/warning_sign/uwsGallery/04_hy/index.htm - or
uninformed by engineering -
http://www.desertspace.org/warning_sign/uwsGallery/09_wf/index.html - but
one imaginative approach involved planting the region with vegetation
genetically engineered to be blue -
http://www.desertspace.org/warning_sign/uwsGallery/01_sa/sa.html

Curiously, a later report, written in 2004 -
http://www.wipp.energy.gov/library/PermanentMarkersImplementationPlan.pdf
- ignored all this and opted for some rather unimpressive granite markers.

Finally, an interesting fictional account of how the WIPP might be
discovered -
http://culturalcommentary.blogspot.com/2006/02/archaeological-hazards-of-our-futures.html

Andrew

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