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THE VILLAGE INSIDE
THE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

TYPE / Academic project

SCHOOL / Bartlett School of Architecture

SITE / Mihama, Japan

YEAR / 2020-2021

In contrast to the controversial but globally accepted solution of burying radioactive waste in deep geological repositories for over 100,000 years, this project proposes the recycling and recovery of nuclear waste, postulating the progress of current experimental decontamination technologies. 

The decontamination of Reactor 1 and 2
Mihama Nuclear Power Plant plan radiograph
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The design narrates the future of a decommissioned nuclear power plant and its surrounding village in Mihama, Japan.

Section of Reacton 1 and 2
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The narrative generates and is generated by an interminable dialogue between nuclear forms and heritage and the traditional life in the Japanese coastal town. This dialectic is further reflected in the construction of a Shinto sanctuary, integrating ceremonial and commercial activities such as fishing, rice farming and sake brewing. 

Reactor 1 and 2 axonometric view
Nuclear shinto shrine construction
Mihama nuclear Shinto sanctuary overall view
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Influenced by traditional Japanese performative design processes and mimicry, the architecture employs nuclear waste and pure geometric forms repeated isomorphically to preserve their identity and direct their value. The monumental interior of the nuclear reactor is doubled horizontally in the surrounding village and vice-versa, one becoming a mirror image of the other. 

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Ultimately, the architecture aims to present radioactivity as a natural phenomenon that can and should be addressed, attempting to advance a solution for the nuclear waste crisis, the heritage of nuclear power plants and the economy of the villages that depend on them for their power. 

Mihama sanctuary playground