The Village Inside the Nuclear Power Plant

MArch, Year 5, 

Bartlett School of Architecture

Tutors: Jonathan Hill and Elizabeth Dow

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 design narrates the future of a decommissioned nuclear power plant and its surrounding village in Mihama, Japan.

Influenced by traditional Japanese performative design processes and the usage of mimicry, the architecture employs nuclear waste and pure geometric forms repeated isomorphically in order 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. This dialectic is further reflected in the construction of a Shinto sanctuary in place of the old reactors, integrating ceremonial and commercial activities such as fishing, rice farming and sake brewing.

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.