nuclear waste

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Tunnel containing nuclear waste collapses in Washington

  • The Department of Energy Richland Operations Office declared an emergency at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state on Tuesday, after a “20-foot-by-20-foot section of soil caved in where two underground tunnels meet,” NPR reported. The tunnel’s contents, including trains, were contaminated with nuclear waste.
  • No workers were in the tunnel at the time, but some employees close to the collapse were evacuated and others in the area were told to remain indoors and “take cover” as a precautionary measure, according to NBC News. Read more (5/9/17)

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Little Known Countries:

St. Cristophe and the Hyades - A South American island country consisting of St. Cristophe (the main archipelago) and the Hyades (the surrounding sparsely inhabited islands). They were a UK colony up until 1957 when they won their independence by non-violent means. UK officials were constantly given incorrect coordinates as to the location of the country and this fooled them long enough for the people to write an official declaration of independence while imprisoning officials already on the Island. The UK silently pulled out of the country without any fuss as they didn’t want anyone talking about what an international embarrassment they are.

Tasilimo! - The only country left with an exclamation point in its name, Tasilimo! is located off the coast of New Zealand. Tasilimo! has a small population of 549, but has one of the most linguistically diverse populations in the world. All 549 inhabitant of Tasilimo speak their own language, and this has caused longstanding tension between the inhabitants. At the moment, Tasilimo! is going through a brutal civil war between each citizen in the country. Peace talks have largely failed because nobody can tell what the fuck anyone is saying.

Shadow Albania - Shadow Albania is located in the Balkan Peninsula right next to Albania. The country is unique in that it’s the only country that based its border on another country. It has the same shape as vanilla Albania, but it roughly half the size. Shadow Albania has very similar historical origins as Albania, yet there is tension between the two countries as Shadow Albania considers itself “darker, edgier, and more mature” than vanilla Albania, going so far as to ban immigration from vanilla Albania as they consider Albanians to be “motherfuckers”. Shadow Albania still subscribes to a version of extreme Hoxhaism, and the country’s geological makeup has all but been destroyed to make room for bunkers. So much of Shadow Albania’s GDP goes towards building bunkers that its economy is failing, yet it is perhaps the most safe country to be in, in the case of nuclear war.

Ohio - Sometimes mistakenly thought to be an American state, Ohio won its Independence in 1992 when its entire human populace all but disappeared, only to be replaced with odd mollusk like creatures. Ohio is the only country in the world with a population of zero. Its capital is Cleveland, a bizarre desolate wasteland made up mostly of row houses and geological disappointment. Its national motto is “I wish I was anywhere, but Ohio” and its main exports are transients and nuclear waste.

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A Canadian company wants to start dumping its nuclear waste next to Lake Huron

  • You can’t see them, but they’re there: chambers of radioactive waste buried deep beneath the earth’s surface, hiding as time slowly defuses their deadly contents.
  • Known as deep geological repositories, they’re the underground storage facilities nuclear power companies build to house the toxic byproducts they produce.
  • The deeper down they’re buried, the more radioactive their concealed troves are likely to be.
  • And now, a Canadian nuclear plant is hoping to receive approval to build the deepest one ever proposed in North America, less than a mile from the shores of the Great Lakes. Read more

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Pyro-Technic AN/M8 raygun

Manufactured for the US army with nuclear waste from the Manhattan project c.1942-46 - no serial number.
37mm plutonium-240 or uranium-238 cartridges, single shot top-break action, screwed-on focusing lens cap with chain lanyard.

This compact handgun proved very useful for the American soldiers on the occult front of WW2.

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Uranium Disposal Cells of the American Southwest

Uranium disposal cells are unusual constructions because they are built to last far beyond the lives of most engineered structures, to isolate their radioactive contents from the environment for hundreds of years. They are generally low geometric mounds, sometimes as high as a hundred feet tall, covering a few acres or as much as a half mile, and composed of layers of engineered soil and gravels designed to shed rainwater and limit erosion, in order to take their contents, intact, away from the present and as far into the future as possible. Indeed, most of the radiation comes from uranium 238, which has a half life of 4.47 billion years, nearly the age of the earth itself. Many of the piles were made by contractors for the Department of Energy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the government took over handling the wastes left by companies, in some cases bankrupted by the process, or otherwise no longer existing or accountable. The government was the reason these sites existed in the first place, since in the early years of the industry they were the only customer for uranium–using it to build atomic bombs.

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An underground garbage fire is burning right next to a nuclear waste site — and little is being done

Up to 200 feet of rotting garbage is slowly burning underground thanks to an uncontrolled fire at the Bridgeton Landfill outside St. Louis, resulting in a constant stench. But worse is the fire’s proximity to the neighboring 200-acre West Lake Landfill Superfund site full of radioactive waste from World War II-era nuclear bomb tests. Residents are calling on the EPA to do more, but it may be a complete no-win disaster.

Giant: Ch. 9

Our bodies are weak,
We’re tired and hurting
Will we ever get to the other side?
Dunno but I swear I’ll die trying.

The first date was enough to prove that she was certain Kara wasn’t going to escape how she felt about Lena Luthor. And it wasn’t just the thirty six hours of talking and reacquainting. It wasn’t even the way the CEO effortlessly accepted whatever happened, becoming Kara’s number one defender and supporter. It certainly wasn’t waking up next to messy hair tickling her nose or an uptick in her take out deliveries, though all were benefits in their own little way.

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some thoughts on nuclear waste storage and the difficulties of communicating with distant future civilizations

one of the things i wonder about the yucca mountain/WIPP project (see this post) is how much they considered the pure cussedness of human nature.

you know, the maybe-idiotic kind of curiosity that makes us look at a “KEEP OUT” sign and think, “hey, i wonder why they want us to Keep Out?” let’s take a look.

think about it. you get a bunch of geologists, sci-fi authors, archaeologists and linguists together, and tell them they have to invent a communication device that will still work in 10,000+ years. they need to create a warning that says, “DANGER: DO NOT GO HERE,” and it needs to make sense even after all of our current languages and cultures are dead.

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this is already an incredibly difficult task. but aside from the problem of communicating to people in the dim and distant future, you need to create something that won’t inspire curiosity. it has to be sufficiently forbidding that it puts people off, without it turning into a heavily mythologised tourist attraction.

IMO this may be impossible. even if the warning signs DO work, then people will still be curious about why the location is dangerous. and if the markers DON’T work, then you run the risk of creating the next stonehenge. for example, a couple of the other suggested solutions involved “menacing earthworks” or gigantic spikes that would supposedly discourage people from entering the danger zone.

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to me, the problem is this: the “spike field” is both frightening and appealing. it says, “what is so important that it needs to be hidden behind such a terrifying obstacle?” it’s like sleeping beauty and her thicket of thorns.

the solution they eventually agreed upon was to build a series of walls encircled by giant granite pillars. in the middle, above the storage location for the nuclear waste, is an information site with warning signs in pictograms, the six main languages of the UN, and Navajo.

while i think this is a decent enough plan, i can’t help but think of these circles of pillars and walls as… a target. a series of obstacles to be overcome before you reach the mysterious secret chamber in the middle, which a long-dead civilization was apparently desperate to protect. and once you reach the center of that target, you may find death… but you’ll also find a seven-language equivalent to the Rosetta Stone.