In The Dust Of This Planet

The ruins recall the post-apocalypse landscape of Pripyat, the Ukrainian town evacuated after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.For all the controversy and narrative suspense, however, there are surprisingly few sites of detectable radioactivity. often outdoors, just 14 miles from the Eiffel Tower.”

The site is now being considered for demolition, the ground beneath it to be excavated as part of a new gypsum mine—however, all that construction work risks stirring up clouds of “toxic uranium dust” from an earlier generation’s detonations. In any case, the site—and the people now guerrilla-gardening there—is worth a quick look over at the New York Times. Posted Monday, November 03, 2014 • comment(s) This, certainly, resembles the view of the mining company that now wants to tear down the old fort and rip the landscape into a gypsum mine. popular culture; there is otherwise no connection between this post and the book—just toxic uranium dust…). “In 2011,” we read, for example, “Christophe Nedelec, a local environmentalist, broke into the fort and, using an amateur Geiger counter, found three spots with elevated levels of radiation.” Three spots—considering that no fewer than an astonishing 150 kilograms—or roughly 330 pounds—of uranium are estimated to have blown around the grounds of the fort, that’s a seemingly reassuring find. The empty housing of a vast supercomputer sits in gloom; vines spill into laboratories. Today, the old fort is part picturesque ruin, part Tarkovsky film:These days curtains flap from rows of overgrown buildings; radiation symbols and other graffiti cover the security post, which is filled, weirdly, with women’s shoes. In The Dust Of This Planet

[Image: Photo by Dmitry Kostyukov, courtesy of The New York Times].

Updated: 04.11.2014 — 09:09