Yucca 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, vote."

The Yucca Mountain site is a U.S. Department of Energy project located in Nye County, Nevada, approximately 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

After more than 20 years and $4 billion in scientific study, the U.S. Congress approved Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the nation’s 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.

© 2002 GDUNNE