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The Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory, or DUSEL is a major project under consideration by the National Science Foundation. If built, DUSEL will be a series of large laboratories, caverns, and cleanrooms serving the field of underground science. The main impetus for DUSEL is the study of extremely rare nuclear physics processes, like neutrino scattering, dark matter interactions, and neutrinoless double beta decay, which can only be studied in the absence of cosmic rays. (Cosmic ray muons on the Earth's surface cause backgrounds in these types of detectors, but the particles cannot penetrate great depths in rock.) Easy access to these great depths will open new frontiers in geomicrobiology, geosciences, and mining engineering, making DUSEL a multidisciplinary facility.
On July 10, 2007, the mine was selected by the National Science Foundation as the location for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL), winning out over several candidates including the Henderson Mine near Empire, Colorado. If completed, the DUSEL facility will continue the early work on ultra-low-background experiments on dark matter and neutrinos, as well as providing a site for biology, geology, and mining research.
Gaining access to that depth will take some time, since as of May 4, 2009 the mine is flooded to the 4846 foot depth and will need to be pumped dry and rusted equipment repaired. Plans are to construct an interim laboratory, at the 4850 foot level. This "Sanford Underground Laboratory at Homestake", currently funded by T. Denny Sanford ($70 million) and the state of South Dakota ($35 million) will support a National Science Foundation grant application for the full DUSEL (est. $550 million) in 2011.
The Deep Underground Science and Engineering Lab (DUSEL) at Homestake will address the underground needs of all of the major scientific fields included in the NSF solicitation process: particle and nuclear physics, geology, hydrology, geo-engineering, biology, and biochemistry. Homestake is the deepest mine in North America with rooms at 8000 ft., well-suited for experiments that require extremely low cosmogenic backgrounds: in particular, the search for neutrino-less double beta decay and relic dark matter.
agreed. I only put DULCE in the title because, Sadly, thats the only way reason most people will read this post.
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, or WIPP, is the world's third deep geological repository (after closure of Germany's Repository for radioactive waste Morsleben and the Schacht Asse II Salt Mine) licensed to permanently dispose of transuranic radioactive waste for 10000 years that is left from the research and production of nuclear weapons. It is located approximately 26 miles (42 km) east of Carlsbad, New Mexico, in eastern Eddy County.
Since 1991, the United States Department of Energy has been working with a team of linguists, scientists, science fiction writers, anthropologists and futurists to come up with such a warning system. The markers, called "passive institutional controls", will include an outer perimeter of 32, 25-foot-tall granite pillars built in a four-mile (6 km) square. These pillars will surround an earthen wall, 33 feet (10 m) tall and 100 feet (30 m) wide. Enclosed within this wall will be another 16 granite pillars. At the center, directly above the waste site, will sit a roofless, 15-foot (4.6 m) granite room providing more information. The team intends to etch warnings and informational messages into the granite slabs and pillars. This information will be recorded in the six official languages of the United Nations (English, Spanish, Russian, French, Chinese, Arabic) as well as the Native American Navajo language native to the region, with additional space for translation into future languages . Pictograms are also being considered, such as stick figure images and the iconic "The Scream" from Edvard Munch's painting. Complete details about the plant will not be stored on site, instead, they would be distributed to archives and libraries around the world. The team plans to submit their final plan to the U.S. Government by around 2028.