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After a Seminar On Nuclear Waste Management

Posted on: June 14th, 2017 by BWNWAdmin No Comments

The dolmens of Tadenfallow

Bedell the apple greylore,

And sharfle starf in lunlit

They bewhile the nightenflow.


Frumunder stoons of dolmens

Grumble sprites and ork-tra-ra

To chortle forth and down the hollow

Leaching out with caustic omens.


A cask of crimson sky

– Born of evil goings –

Streck whild from round the dolmens

Of hinderform from eye.


The cask was set down deep

Far more than coffin goe

Within a granite toom

No slimery wurm can creep.


Dusk was shroud from high

And darkness filled to top

While rancid bubbles burst below

Within the cask of sky.


O’er the site there placed

A minder sign to stay

In coldest marble cuts

In pretty words not laced,


“Rest quiet now

And cease your shifting

Til come a time

Of land up-lifting.”

Mike C.Rose  (2/1973)



As the title states, this poem was written after attending a seminar by a researcher in the field of nuclear waste management.  Pretty grim stuff.  As a result, a nonsense poem texture was used to express the frightening madness of the situation.

The researcher spoke about the state-of-the-art process of “encapsulation by vitrification,” dissolving the nuclear waste in a molten glass and cooling it to form a solid for long term storage.  Besides the enormous problems associated with handling these materials at high temperature and the escape of volatile radioactive isotopes during the heating, there is the unresolved issue that, over a stretch of time, the radiation from nuclear waste likes to destroy any matrix containing the waste.  While initially insoluble in ground water, the glass matrix crumbles.  In the process, it develops an active surface chemistry and BECOMES soluble.  The half-lives of these isotopes are longer than the entire history of human civilization.  The researcher spoke of the need to develop a stable peaceful civilization that will last hundreds of thousands of years –AND- the need for a nuclear priesthood to look after the waste for what seems like an eternity.  In the likely case of the fall of civilization, the burial site should have permanent signage in all known languages.  The lengthy continuing cost of nuclear power will greatly outweigh any short-term profit benefits of nuclear energy, and the weaponry side of nuclear energy makes a stable civilization unlikely.

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