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Taryn Simon

Blue Note




Nuclear Waste Encapsulation and Storage Facility Cherenkov Radiation
Hanford Site, U.S. Department of Energy
Southeastern Washington State

Submerged in a pool of water at Hanford Site are 1,936 stainless-steel nuclear-waste capsules containing cesium and strontium. Combined, they contain over 120 million curies of radioactivity. It is estimated to be the most curies under one roof in the United States. The blue glow is created by the Cherenkov Effect which describes the electromagnetic radiation emitted when a charged particle, giving off energy, moves faster than light through a transparent medium. The temperatures of the capsules are as high as 330 degrees Fahrenheit. The pool of water serves as a shield against radiation; a human standing one foot from an unshielded capsule would receive a lethal dose of radiation in less than 10 seconds. Hanford is among the most contaminated sites in the United States.

Featured in Taryn Simon, An American Index of the Hidden and the Unfamiliar (Steidl, 2007) © Taryn Simon.

Posted in: Energy

Comment 5  |     |     |   Like 0  |   Tweet 0
Comments [5]
That photo is quite stunning in large format. A selection of Taryn Simon's work was shown at the Photographer's Gallery in London recently.
Zach
08.03.09
03:33

This work uses the visual power of art to inform us of a threat that we may not be aware of...It is a powerful and beautiful statement. It is similar in power and meaning as Chris Jordan's work. What a great use for artistic expression.
J. D. Carter
08.05.09
04:40

blue is my fave color and as i do like your photo. its very artistic expression.
naomae
04.06.11
02:54

Nuclear waste capsules? They tried to dump these stuff in spain, but our country drove them away. But, it does look like an art right now.
Mitchell Dawson
04.20.11
07:31

I am very appreciating for this topic is described about electromagnetic radiation emitted. Really United State is the most powerful country of world. There maximum people are make highly intelligent and their scientist are always create some new things of how their country was save and powerful. There are creating some well advanced technologies. I am so glad for read this concept.
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Donna Perez
03.21.12
08:26



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