“This place is not a place of honor. There are no memorable dead here… There is nothing of value here. Everything here is dangerous and disgusting for us. This is a warning of danger.” This message is the “Long Term Nuclear Waste Warning” of the “Waste Segregation Pilot Project (WIPP)”, which is 610 meters deep in stable rocks beneath the New Mexico desert. This large and complex cluster of tunnels and caves is designed to contain the most dangerous nuclear waste of the U.S. military.
Waste Segregation Pilot Project
Compared with the 300,000 years that humans have walked on the surface of the earth, this waste has been harmful to humans and the environment for longer. WIPP is currently the only licensed deep geological repository in the world. By the mid-1920s, Finland will also open similar facilities.
In the next 10 to 20 years, when this facility is full, the caves will collapse and be buried by cement and lime. The buildings that currently stand here will be erased and replaced by “Our time travels through the abyss of time.” The most difficult effort to communicate.”
The plan calls for the use of 7.6-meter-high granite columns to mark the outer boundary of the entire 10-square-kilometer site. Within this range, there is an earth wall with a height of 10 meters and a width of 30 meters, marking the actual area of the deep geological repository. Then, there is a square surrounded by granite pillars inside the earth wall.
There is a room in the center of this huge “do not enter” sign that contains information about the site. Eileen prevented the information from becoming unreadable. Another sign was buried below 6 meters, and a spare information room was set up to store the same information. Detailed information about WIPP will be stored in many archives around the world and stamped on special paper stating that it must be kept for 10,000 years.
Welcome to the world of nuclear semiotics. The grand prospects proposed for WIPP were partly influenced by science fiction. Nuclear physicists, engineers, anthropologists, science fiction writers, artists, and others have entered this very broad and esoteric field of research, and began to study the future of human beings — and any intelligent life that emerges after humankind disappears — will How to get the warning about these deadly legacy.
Unfortunately, the idea of covering the storage site with huge concrete “thorns” was not adopted. Others have suggested that we can create an “atomic priest” that can make ourselves permanent, and use legends and rituals to create a sense of fear for generations around the site. Of course, this idea was not accepted either. In 1981, the linguist Thomas Sibok used the term “nuclear priest” for the first time. There is a more bizarre suggestion: keeping a cat that changes color when exposed to nuclear radiation. This is the concept of the so-called “ray cat”. This kind of cat is like the “Meow Geiger Counter”. If they change color over a period of thousands of years, it is equivalent to issuing a “run away” warning to humans. Obviously, this idea is too whimsical, but the irony is that there has now been a “ray cat movement” with related T-shirts, songs and documentaries.
There is a bright and modern conference room in the countryside of Oxfordshire, England, which makes people never think of the desert of New Mexico or the topic of “atomic priests”, but in fact, their relationship is closer than we thought. Much. This is the location of the British Atomic Energy Authority and the Callum Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE), which was used as an airport during World War II. CCFE is the UK’s nuclear fusion laboratory. In 1947, the UK was also the first nuclear reactor in Western Europe to start operation. The location was at an old airport in Harwell, which was also the headquarters of the British Radioactive Waste Management Company (RWM).
Professor Cherie Tweed is RWM’s chief scientific adviser, and subject matter expert James Pearson also works for the company; their job is to study how to select the appropriate label for the UK’s nuclear waste repository. This facility will take 200 years to plan, build, fill and seal. Like other similar institutions in the world, RWM is obliged to consider marking options for any proposed location.
Establishment of nuclear culture
The Human Intervention Working Group was established in 1981 to find feasible ways to reduce future human inadvertent intrusion into radioactive waste isolation facilities-mainly the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository near Las Vegas, Nevada ——Possibility. It is generally believed that this working group pioneered the field of nuclear semiotics.
Today, the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development continues the work of this working group. In 2011, they launched the “Intergenerational Preservation of Records, Knowledge and Memory” project (RK&M Project). “The role of RK&M is to study effective methods to reduce the possibility of humans inadvertently invading geological repositories, and to enhance the ability of society to make wise decisions in the future.” Former Deputy Director of Radioactive Waste Management, Nuclear Energy Agency, and current OECD Nuclear Energy Agency IFNEC Said Dr. Gloria Kwong, the head of the Technical Secretariat.
The initiative puts forward some suggestions, such as how to help humans make smart decisions in the future, such as libraries, time capsules, and physical markers. “The physical marker can be a single object like an obelisk on the site or pointing to the site, or it can be many objects like a cluster of spikes.” said Dr. Elle Carpenter, a nuclear culture research group The convener is also a professor at Goldsmiths College, University of London. “It’s best not to just erect a huge boulder that will be overturned, but bury thousands of small markers in the ground and wait for them to be discovered later. They can even use scattered artworks, such as Roman coins.”
A study by the International Atomic Energy Agency found that even today, only 6% of the world’s population may recognize the clover symbol, that is, three black leaves on a yellow background, which is a symbol of radiation.
Another study found that the meaning of the 1,000-year-old tsunami boulder in the Tohoku region of Japan is still understood. The problem is that some locals choose to ignore warning messages and build houses in areas vulnerable to the tsunami. They paid a heavy price in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Brussels-based artist and researcher Cecil Marsart believes that if signs are to stand the test of the future, they need to be “part of nuclear culture, with their own monuments, signs, and rituals. What we see at the moment is only Radioactive symbol.”
In her work lab, Marsalt envisions a creative lab that sits in a series of metal cones and domes above the waste storage. She said: “It will bring together a new generation of musicians, archaeologists, writers, economists, artists, biologists and poets to jointly study the marks needed to pass memories to the next generation.”
In 2011, American artist Brian McGovern Wilson and Robert Williams, professor of aesthetics at the University of Cumbria, went further. Williams said: “In Cumbria alchemy, we explored the power of atomic folklore items, clothing, objects, and rituals. The purpose is to create a tradition of word-of-mouth around the ruins of Cumbria’s nuclear coast. Never forget them.” For example, we can design a “nuclear priest” outfit inspired by the clothes worn by “the father of the atomic bomb” Robert Oppenheimer. Then take photos at the archaeological site in Cumbria to test the ideas of people and Sibok.
Masart said: “Artists can easily be regarded as disruptors by the nuclear industry, but now some engineers, directors, enlightened and educated leaders have realized the value of art.”
Carpenter believes: “Industry discussions usually only focus on a specific site, but as artists, we are more interested in the overall view of the nuclear industry. Don’t just focus on a part of it, but focus on the entire process, and then Look at the entire marking system.”
Finally, the “RK&M” initiative puts forward the idea that the system is the solution. “No one dares to say that this is a magical place,” said James Pearson, who participated in the initiative. “The most successful way is to have many complementary systems, such as physical marking and information about the site stored in a large number of archives. Together. This means you need defense in depth, and if an archive is not maintained or it catches fire, then you need to back it up.
These systems also try to integrate these facilities into the future society, rather than scare people away.
Pearson said: “You don’t have to use threatening expressions and dangerous symbols to scare people away, as WIPP currently plans. You need to try to inform people of the situation there so they can make an informed decision.”