• Repository: A Typological Guide to America's Ephemeral Nuclear Infrastructure
    Elizabeth Ellsworth & Jamie Kruse

Yucca Mountain. Courtesy of United States Department of Energy.

In the absence of a permanent facility for the disposal of nuclear waste, ephemeral and mobile storage structures have been built throughout the United States. These structures exist to temporarily isolate and contain nuclear materials until more enduring facilities can be constructed. Our research contributes to the development of a visual typological guide to this provisional and largely unknown nuclear infrastructure. We consider structures designed to temporarily contain nuclear waste and the mobile infrastructures designed to transport waste between sites. Presently, humans have virtually no models for how to design and maintain infrastructures capable of safely containing nuclear materials for the millions of years necessary. We aim to address this overlooked topic directly and communicate it to diverse audiences through an aesthetic, accessible work.

Elizabeth Ellsworth is a professor of media studies at the New School, New York. Ellsworth's research and teaching focus on the design of mediated learning environments, media and social change, and documentary media forms. She is author of Places of Learning: Media, Architecture, Pedagogy (Routledge, 2004) and Teaching Positions: Difference, Pedagogy and the Power of Address (Teachers College Press, 1997). Her recent journal articles focus on projects that fuse learning with aesthetic experience and public pedagogy. She translates results of her research and writing into media forms, exhibitions, and projects.Ellsworth earned her PhD in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jamie Kruse is an artist, designer, and independent scholar based in Red Hook, Brooklyn. She is the recipient of grants from the New School Green Fund; the New York State Council for the Arts; and the Brooklyn Arts Council. Exhibitions include the Storefront for Art and Architecture, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Incident Report, the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, and Richland Galleries. She has presented her work at Parsons, the New School of Design; the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning; the Oslo School of Architecture and Design; and the California College of Arts. She has been granted residencies with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, the Center for Land Use Interpretation, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She is the author of the Friends of the Pleistocene blog ( Current projects include co-editing a collection of essays Making the Geologic Now (forthcoming, Punctum Books).