Issue Five


Without Warning

Edward Colless

Deep underground on the Finnish island of Olkiluoto, a corporation has been excavating the world’s largest nuclear waste repository. Once filled with its toxic cargo, the site will need to be hermetically sealed in such a way as to avoid contamination of the earth’s surface. This infernal Pandora’s box of a pit would also need to be left inviolate for the time during which that volume of radioactive material would decay into an innocuous state: something like 100,000 years.[1] That’s 50 times longer than the unbroken seal on Tutankhamun’s tomb. Imagine a distant future in which some fragmentary evidence of Olkiluoto’s massive sarcophagus—as a long-forgotten subterranean structure—is encountered by archaeologists studying the remote Anthropocene era, or by treasure hunters with a taste for antique brutalist architecture. Would it not be as archaic and alluringly enigmatic as the monstrous architectural relics discovered by the Antarctic explorers in H.P.

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