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Nuclear waste tomb

A giant tomb made out of nuclear-waste laden cement
  (+19, -3)(+19, -3)
(+19, -3)
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Here in the Good Ol' USA, we have a problem of how to dispose of nuclear waste. There is one proposal to put it in Yucca mountain in Nevada. Whenever people talk about this on the radio, there is always the question of how do you put up a warning so that people don't go near this for the next 1,000 years? What lanaguage would you use?

Well, why not carve out a GIANT FU>|ING SKULL on top of the mountain?! Skulls have been around since at least the dinosaur times and they always always ALWAYS indicate a *dead animal*.

Also, you can construct a giant tomb for bodies and ashes. Impregnate the cement with the nuclear waste so there is a level of radiation permeating the tomb. That will kill all the little microbes trying to eat the bodies , so the bodies will stay fresh for a very long time.

So, if any future moron is dumb enough to approach skull mountain, and enter the tomb, and notice that nobody lives nearby and the place itself is full of dead people, he deserves to die. There. Problem solved.

lawpoop, Nov 30 2005

Skull Mountain http://www.filmtota...tain/thosm_1024.jpg
[DrCurry, Nov 30 2005]

Universal Warning Sign: Yucca Mountain http://www.mosaicsp...osals_images/yucca/
Example, OK agreed, this does not look dangerous enough to me. If anything, this one looks inviting. [Zuzu, Nov 30 2005]

What I'm thinking of http://images.googl...cial_s&start=0&sa=N
Does this not make more sense? [lawpoop, Nov 30 2005]

Scary Environments http://www.vanderbi...o/Anth101/wipp.html
Various environmental designs (eg, "landscape of thorns") for scaring people away from nuclear sites. [AntiQuark, Dec 02 2005]

Skullcrusher Mountain (MP3) http://www.jonathan...sher%20Mountain.mp3
I can't help be reminded of this excellent Johnathan Coulton song. [jutta, Dec 04 2005]

The Atomium http://cours.funoc..../img151/atomium.jpg
Built in the land that invented surrealism [django, May 24 2006]

The Vital Space Desert_20Space-Scraping_20Arcologies
Something we want to be built some day [sweet, May 24 2006]

[link]






       While there may be no maggots, tomb flies, worms, microbes, etc., nibbling away at your cold dead body, all that radiation is going to destroy your DNA pretty darn fast. So if you have any intentions of being resuscitated with some future technology, this is not the place for you.   

       However, the idea itself seems pretty appropriate. There has been much discussion of quite what warning message would be effective across the tens of thousands of years this waste will be harmful. Even a giant skull may only attract attention, not deter it. But piles of bizarrely fresh bodies certainly ought to send some kind of message, especially if you leave them scattered about the approaches in postures of agony.
DrCurry, Nov 30 2005
  

       //So, if any future moron is dumb enough to approach skull mountain//   

       I dunno, He-Man and the mighty Battle Cat did pretty well with Castle Grayskull in Masters of the Universe.
skinflaps, Nov 30 2005
  

       //Skulls have been around since at least the dinosaur times//
I think you'll find that they've been around significantly longer than that, but the point holds.
// and they always always ALWAYS indicate a *dead animal*.//
But this one doesn't. They may well indicate the prior proximity of a dead animal, but they don't necessarily indicate the type of hazard that I suspect you're intending to indicate. A representation of a skull may well indicate "Our revered ancestors are buried here. Come! Partake of their shared wisdom."
angel, Nov 30 2005
  

       [Angel] - You are right. Given how people have worshipped volcanoes and stuff in the past, they would probably revere this mountain as somehow sacred. However, that would probably be the best situation. If they revered it, they wouldn't live there (You keep the sacred seperate from your every day life). They may visit it regularly for rituals, but mostly it would keep them away. Maybe there would be a priest there, but after a few generations of priests, I think it would become obvious that the whole places is hazardous to your health. That would add to the mystique, but at least people aren't living there.
lawpoop, Nov 30 2005
  

       It would give grave-robbers something to think about.
hidden truths, Nov 30 2005
  

       So what if a few people die now and then? That seems to be the normal route for our species to be taught lessons - we lose a few every hour trying to learn the one about seatbelts, simple as that is.   

       It could even be considered a fantastic success if we leave behind us a world capable of supporting an incredibly stupid population a millenium hence.   

       Alright, I'm in a dour mood today, I'll shut up.
lurch, Nov 30 2005
  

       Elaborate tombs generally mean someone with money to burn. Which might still be inside the tomb! I think any sort of marker is just asking for trouble. Even if people (now or in the future) know it is full of radioactive crap, they will send a slave or zealot in to collect it and use it as a weapon.   

       No marker is best. Aboslutely unremarkable desert with a hidden entrance.   

       I am in favor of "piles of bizarrely fresh bodies", though. They would still get mummified unless you had some good humidity control.
bungston, Nov 30 2005
  

       Why do we seem to think humanity will revert to some sort of tribal state over the next 1000 years? Why wouldn't a standard radioactive or biohazard symbol suffice? Or even "Danger, Nuclear Waste Dump Site. Do not enter."?   

       Are we planning on a dark age where we lose all documented history and can no longer read?
Zuzu, Nov 30 2005
  

       I don't know why we think that but people do. There was a dark ages in Europe not too long ago, and we have pretty much no clue what was going on back then. So if they were burying nuclear waste back then, we don't know about it, and they didn't do a good job of trying to tell us about it.   

       My thought for the skull is that it should tell any sentient creature that comes along, human or not.
lawpoop, Nov 30 2005
  

       Languages evolve. Plus, generalized literacy is not even now a worldwide phenomenon, and may not be sustainable technology. We'll know in a thousand years or so. Or maybe we won't.
lurch, Nov 30 2005
  

       [bungston] //No marker is best. Aboslutely unremarkable desert with a hidden entrance.//   

       If there is no marker, people will move there, live there, and kick of in their 30s from drinking radioactive water and eating radioactive food.
lawpoop, Nov 30 2005
  

       Yeah, on further investigation, I see the point... this is for 10,000 years, not 1,000 which to me is a big difference. A skull would probably be better than the radioactive example <link>. [+]
Zuzu, Nov 30 2005
  

       Perfectly suited [+].   

       Even without this skull, there will be some risk-takers who want to have deadly adventures based on mysterious rumours of danger. What this does is gravitate them to one place where the innocent bystanders are not standing by.   

       The only problem I see is in the problem statement. Most of the doomsday/dark-ages producing events I envision will involve scenarios where most of the planet is radioactive anyway. No sense marking this mountain when half of the cities on the mouths of key rivers & bays are glowing radioactive.
sophocles, Nov 30 2005
  

       Surely some will be drawn to the skull. This will kill the curious / explorer types. Society will need these people in order to advance. Perhaps littering the mountain with bodies (bones) would convey the message without unnecessarily baiting anyone.   

       BTW, said mountain would be radioactive for billions of years.
Shz, Nov 30 2005
  

       Everything I read says the projected volatility is around 10k years, but then the web is filled with mis-info...   

       Hmmmm, wouldn't *any* such remotely located symbol run the risk of getting buried via the elements through time and just look like a mound of dirt? Maybe it's more important that the marker is *really* high/tall with carved symbols at various levels throughout?
Zuzu, Nov 30 2005
  

       It would probaly attract teenagers and be there new hang out, But if it was goth teenagers then there would be no big loss.
i-Mer, Dec 01 2005
  

       [Zuzu], U-238 (Depleted Uranium - the stuff that needs disposal) has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, the age of the earth. There are proponent's publications that claim all sorts of things. I wonder what they meant by 'volatility'?   

       [i-Mer], wow. That's all, just wow.
Shz, Dec 01 2005
  

       The ideal solution, I think, would be to sculpt the landscape in the area to create a microclimate at the mountain which results in continuous, heavy electrical storms. Then, anyone who hangs around there is going to get zapped with lightning. Even goth teenagers aren't gonna hang around for that.
moomintroll, Dec 01 2005
  

       And all that rain washes the radioactive pollution into the ground water...?   

       There's a reason they're building this in the desert, you know!
DrCurry, Dec 01 2005
  

       <slightly off topic>In the post-apocolypse, when society doesn't possess gieger counters, and doesn't otherwise know to stay away from this mountain, I envision that all the teenagers will be "goth".</sot>
sophocles, Dec 01 2005
  

       [Moomintroll] You could put a giant lightning rod, like a copper tower or something, to attract lightning when it does show up.
lawpoop, Dec 01 2005
  

       What if somehow we made it really really hot there?
RayfordSteele, Dec 02 2005
  

       I think that anything scary looking (see other link) would just pique the curiosity and draw people to it. Probably a more effective idea would be to name the site "Cemetery for Leprosy, Ebola and Bird Flue Victims." That will keep 'em away!
AntiQuark, Dec 02 2005
  

       [Steele] If it was hot, it would have to be really hot. Otherwise people would want to live there because, hey, free heating.   

       Probably the only way you could do that, anyway, was with the radioactive material itself. I don't know how much uranium you have to pack together to get it 125* in a spot, but then as the material decays, it cools, and again you have more squatters looking for free heat.
lawpoop, Dec 02 2005
  

       I liked the idea of burying radioactive waste in subduction zones. Don't remember where I saw it. The idea was to allow the heavy uranium to sink down with the rock into the earth's core, in the process keeping the Earth's internal nuclear reactor going.
discontinuuity, Dec 02 2005
  

       David Brin advocated burying human's junk in subduction zones in one of his books. He's probably not the first sci-fi author to do so, but the first one I came across.
normzone, Dec 02 2005
  

       // GIANT FU>|ING SKULL //

sp. "GIANT FUC|<ING SKULL"
coprocephalous, Dec 02 2005
  

       Why not just bury it where no humans can survive. I'm assuming the plates won't shift too much over the next 10,000 years.
Cuit_au_Four, Dec 02 2005
  

       [poophead] I was going for a backwards K.
lawpoop, Dec 02 2005
  

       And missing out the C altogether?
coprocephalous, Dec 02 2005
  

       why not just have a sign in plain language, and every 100 years update it? if an event so catastrophic happens that no living person remembers there is a mountain full of radio active waste that needs a sign putting up outside it, then we're all FU>|ed (or,indeed FUC|<ed) anyway. The updating could take the form of a competition too (my kids would love to enter)
tacit, Dec 02 2005
  

       //Why do we seem to think humanity will revert to some sort of tribal state over the next 1000 years?//

You're obviously a lot more optimistic than I am, Zuzu.

//Are we planning on a dark age where we lose all documented history and can no longer read?//

Human civilisation, let alone documented history, has only existed for a few thousand years. Nuclear waste will last a lot longer. If we're going to keep generating the stuff, something I consider inadvisable, then it needs to be put away in a deep, dark and inpenetrable place where nobody is likely to think of searching for anything of importance.

Inside George Bush's head sounds good to me. After all, it's already used for storing a whole bunch of other dangerous stuff.

Afterthought: Hmmm, perhaps not. Dangerous things do seem to leak out of his head with alarming regularity.
DrBob, Dec 02 2005
  

       [DrBob] Please report immediately to the Ministry of Truth for processing.
lawpoop, Dec 04 2005
  

       The subduction zone idea makes a lot of sense   

       [rasberry]//keeping the Earth's internal nuclear reactor going//   

       but there is no nuclear reaction at the earth's core (planet isn't big enough, or made of the right stuff)
eahenle, May 22 2006
  

       Why not put them in the Egyptian pyramids? Surely they've had their fair share of grave-robbing by now.
caspian, May 22 2006
  

       //a level of radiation [...] will kill all the little microbes trying to eat the bodies , so the bodies will stay fresh for a very long time.// [lawpoop] - no they won't.   

       " Lovely. Just what the world needs. Another simple-minded goon with a slackwitted solution to a problem whose cause he or she hasn't graced with a single moment's thought. If this sounds trollish, I don't give a shit. I'm sick to death of this kind of nerdily offensive muddleheaded shitehawk nonsense. Please keep baffling me with possibly mad but abstruse science, halfbakers, and do all you can to discourage craptastic birdbrained idiocy such as this idea. " Murdoch said it best..
sweet, May 22 2006
  

       I... I was going to say something stupid about Mount Doom, but I think I'll just leave for now.
notmarkflynn, May 22 2006
  

       The subduction thing could be a good idea - but only if you can guarantee that the stuff wont get ejected from the nearest volcano before it gets a chance to get mixed up a bit first.
zen_tom, May 22 2006
  

       [Sweet], that's a bit harsh. The problem is real. You're right about the microbes thing, but I agree with the use of biological imagery--the human skull has not changed significantly in the last 10,000 years, and probably will not change significantly in the next. I can think of no culture that does not associate a skull with death in some way or another (ancestor worship is still an implicit acknowledgement of death). A disfigured skull would be even better--dual images of death and unnatural deformity.   

       Placing bodies in the structure might not work. It might just read as "tomb" or "burial place", and we spend plenty of time mucking around in those, ref. egypt and the pyramids.   

       Interesting thought--maybe Tutankhamen's curse is radiation poisoning... ;P   

       On a side note, everyone talks about these sites as if they're full of uranium. They aren't/won't be. They're full of uranium fission by-products, a mishmash of lighter, shorter lived, and much deadlier isotopes. Any residual uranium (which is about as safe as radioactive materials get) is extracted for re-use as reactor fuel and tank bullets. Hence the 10,000 year limit, instead of billions of years. By then pretty much everything in the waste will be broken down to stable elements.
5th Earth, May 22 2006
  

       [5th] - if i see a skull carved on a mountain ill think there's a rock concert about to take place and ill go back thanks to that, not because i face death. the universal radiation sign is much more apropriate, so that if i'm a bug i know there's nothing to be scared of   

       I don’t see the point of irradiating an uninhabited region in the first place, especially while world population is growing. If they do that, might as well carve an inscription like “nuclear idiots rule this place, go back!”.   

       Now really, why don’t they take it to Cernobal ? That region is wasted anyway and they already have all the necessary warning signs all around.
sweet, May 23 2006
  

       Because they're still having problems containing Chernobyl.   

       I think your being negative over nothing. If we don't put anything, some people will move there. If we put something, some people will be drawn there while others are scared away.   

       It's a lose-lose situation, except his idea is to have a bad-ass skull on a mountain.   

       And if rock is still alive when it becomes non-radioactive, we can hold concerts there.
notmarkflynn, May 23 2006
  

       The universal radiation symbol is less than 100 years old, and heavy metal has only been around for about 30. Are you willing to stake lives that either one will still be in use, say, 5,000 years from now? Bear in mind that 5,000 years ago, the Egyptians were just getting started and western civilization didn't even exist. A lot changes in a few millenia.   

       As for the "nuclear idiots", even assuming that we cease all nuclear activity right this instant, there's still an enormous amount of waste already generated. Don't want to irradiate an uninhabited region? I guess you prefer irradiating the inhabited ones, then.   

       As for Chernobal, as mentioned, it's already leaking all over the place, and still having questionable health effects even outside of the depopulated zones.
5th Earth, May 24 2006
  

       People, my country, Belgium, is an expert in this matter.   

       Why don't you put the Atomium on top of the mountain? That way, aliens will recognize it too. [link]   

       On second thought, people might think it's a tourist attraction. Many Americans have the bad habit of copying European things (see Venice in Las Vegas, etc...).   

       So put a huge board next to it: "no this is not the result of the obsession of an American with a lot of money who wanted to build the Atomium in his own back yard. This place sucks. Go away."   

       Should work.
django, May 24 2006
  

       No way is this a good idea. I still think what Murdoch said about chilling Iraq totally applies to, not chilling, but __n u c l e a r __p o l l u t i n g a potentially residential area for the future thousands of years. Maybe at one point we WOULD like to have that area available see <link>.   

       Why not the North pole? That’s not going to be inhabited any time soon. Oh, is it because of our CO2 pollution that’s making the ice melt would make the radioactivity spread allover the world?   

       Why waste that? We have the moon and the stars to our feet.
sweet, May 24 2006
  

       Why does it seem that whenever I come up with an idea now, it appears on the web a few days later? Not this idea, but that microbes and creepy crawlies would not be around to eat a dead body. I swear I thought about that a while ago, when I read an article about uca mountain.
EvilPickels, May 24 2006
  
      
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