5 posts tagged with radioactivewaste.
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"you can't help but want to live in a world like that" - Matthew Kielty

The Raycat Solution is a 15 minute documentary by Benjamin Huguet about an idea proposed in 1981 by philosophers Françoise Bastide and Paolo Fabbri that by genetically engineering cats to be living Geiger counters, we could create a warning system for radioactive waste that would last at least ten thousand years. The idea languished for decades until Matthew Kielty did a feature on it for the 99% Invisible Podcast in 2014 [previously on MeFi]. Now biologist Kevin Chen is trying to bring the Ray Cat Solution to life.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 16, 2016 - 26 comments

Dounreay is coming apart...

In 1954 the UK Atomic Energy Authority established a research campus at a distant, disused airfield in Caithness, Scotland. The mission: develop fast breeder reactor technology. In 1988, they chose to conclude the research and in 2000 to decommission the site. This 32-year cleanup now underway is chronicled at a most snazzy website... [more inside]
posted by tss on Mar 25, 2010 - 8 comments

Half-Life? Try Sixteenth-Life

Chilling Out Mr. Radioactive
A group of scientists at Germany's Ruhr University may have a way of cutting down the time it takes for radioactive waste to decay to a safer state. Instead of 1600 years for Radium-226, Prof. Claus Rolfs theorizes that he can cut that down to a mere 100 years, by encasing the materials in metal and then freezing them to very, very low temps to accelerate the radioactive decay.
posted by fenriq on Aug 1, 2006 - 28 comments

Beating Fermi by 1.7 billion years

The site of the world's first nuclear reactor? Gabon. About 1.7 billion years ago several deposits of uranium in Oklo, Gabon spontaneously began to undergo nuclear chain reactions fed by small drips of water. These natural breeder reactors ran for almost a million years, producing both intense heat and plutonium byproducts. Aside from the strangeness of naturally occurring reactors, Oklo provides the only existing case of how highly radioactive waste behaves over a period of tens of millions of years -- exactly the problem faced by the DOE's Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site.
posted by blahblahblah on Feb 16, 2005 - 19 comments

"Sending this message was important to us. We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.

"Sending this message was important to us. We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture. This place is not a place of honor ... no highly esteemed deed is commemorated here ... nothing valued is here. What is here is dangerous and repulsive to us. The danger is still present, in your time, as it was in ours. The danger is to the body, and it can kill." How do we mark our radioactive waste so the warning will be clearly understood for 10,000 years?
posted by webmutant on Mar 6, 2002 - 25 comments

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