Defuturing is an activity which concentrates on the mass production of products or services, without really taking in to consideration the sustainable impact.
Or to put it another way:
Activities, processes and products which reduce, rather than enhance, the possibility of a future which can be sustained.
This project revolved around the idea of looking at a current, harmful practice to then find a solution to it. The ‘culprit’ that I chose was the creation of electricity through nuclear power plants. This type of electricity production that leaves not only a generic waste, but a radioactive one. Specialised fuel rods are used in this process which need to be quarantined and remain radioactive for years upon end.
How did this method come in to existence?
A scientist named Otto Hahn discovered that breaking up the nucleus of uranium in to two parts emits 200 million times the energy of the neutron which triggered it. He, alongside two other colleagues found that when the nucleus is bombarded at a slow speed with neutrons, it will absorb one which results in an unstable compound nucleus that breaks in two parts.
These parts are barium, with 141 neutrons as well as krypton with 92 neutrons. Adding both of the neutrons together equals 233, however the uranium compound has 236 neutrons. This means that three more neutrons need to be released to balance the equation.
These three neutrons can be absorbed by other uranium nuclei which produces a chain reaction. This reaction occurs in water which is heated to a very high temperature. It is kept from boiling using a pressure regulator. The heated water travels through pipes to heat other water and turn in to steam which then, turns an generator.
It has been since 1953 that this process has been going on, and would have produced many waste materials which are radioactive to this date.