Mountain Warning Sign
October 14, 2001
"The Senate has rightfully chosen to allow the process
of developing a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain
to proceed to the next step, recognizing that the independent
experts at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) deserve
the right to review the 24 years of scientific study of Yucca
Mountain and to consider the site for a license," said
Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham following the July 9, 2002,
Mountain site is a U.S. Department of Energy project located
in Nye County, Nevada, approximately 100 miles northwest of
After more than 20 years and $4 billion in scientific study,
the U.S. Congress approved Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the
nations first long-term geologic repository for spent
nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
This warm-up assignment was to create a universal warning
sign that would still retain its message to "KEEP OUT",
come 10,000 years when the mountain is still seeping radioactive
fallout. We were urged to design "creatively," and
use technology that doesn't necessarily have to exist in present
day. (These open design projects allow for such an open solution).
I took it upon myself to keep it simple, and get straight
to the point.
My sign is essentially a mirror encased in a sphere, that
would manage to rotate towards a human as they came into close
proximity to the mountain. They could see their reflection
clearly, but as they came closer still to the mountain, the
reflection would appear to slowly eat away their flesh until
the human was standing directly in front of the sphere, where
their reflection would show nothing but their skeleton.
Could there ever exist any sort of technology to accommodate
that solution? Most likely not, but the communicative aspects
of the piece are notwithstanding and strong. If we aren't
consumed by fallout over the next 10,000 years, there eventually
might be a way to assemble a working prototype.