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On the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 10,000 Year Marker System (99percentinvisible.org)
13 points by bryanrasmussen 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments

This issue seems to result in heavy bikeshedding.

Here's an existing marker for a nuclear burial site.[1] This is where the SL-1 reactor blew up in the 1960s. (SL-1 was an experimental reactor at the Idaho Reactor Test Station, in the middle of nowhere for good reasons.)

Realistically, sites like that require a major mining effort to get into, and any society capable of that probably will know about radioactivity, along with all the other risks of mining.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SL-1#/media/File:SL-1Burial.jp...

That sign depends on the circle-cross symbol, nuclear warning symbol, and bottles all being meaningful 10,000 years from now. We have trouble deciphering symbols from less than half thst long ago. Your point about mining could be true, unless some geological event makes it more accessible.

From that article "One of the shield plugs on top of the reactor vessel impaled the third man through his groin and exited his shoulder, pinning him to the ceiling." ouch


This place is not a place of honor.

No highly esteemed deed is commemorated here.

Nothing valued is here.

This place is a message and part of a system of messages.

Pay attention to it!

Sending this message was important to us.

We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.

This place is best shunned and left uninhabited.

Direct link to Sandia PDF:


The document in question is numbered Sandia 92-1382

WIPP is one of HN's all time most popular reposts:


Lots of past comments to read.

280 comments at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11851871

I've read several articles about the 10,000 year marker system, but, this is the first time I recall "Ray Cats" as a potential solution.

If the engineered changing-color genes don't confer any evolutionary advantage, won't the cats' descendants quickly lose them?

Only if they confer an evolutionary disadvantage - for example, a higher cancer rate. Otherwise it will just be there as so much genetic baggage.

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