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Sunday 21 December  
Abandoned Polish church, built 1785

Earth Beat - Left Behind

On air: 29 June 2012 3:00 (Photo: Martijn Zegwaard)

More about:

Earth Beat, 29 June 2012. Urban exploring in abandoned buildings, explosive underwater wrecks, what to do about the small problem of nuclear waste and coming back from the ashes of the Black Saturday bushfires. What we leave behind, and why.

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Masts from the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery are still visible off the coas
Masts from the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery are still visible off the coast of Sheerness
The ship that could prove a blast from the past - listen in new player

Stranded on a sandbank off the coast of Kent in the UK, the SS Richard Montgomery ship is a disaster waiting to happen. View photos.

The munitions vessel ran aground more than 65 years ago, but so far nobody has been able to remove its explosive cargo – more than 1,440 tonnes of live bombs. Experts say a structural collapse could trigger an explosion that would cause a metre-high tidal wave.

We speak to historian Colin Harvey, a resident of the Isle of Sheppey, which would be devastated by such a blast from the past.

The SS Richard Montgomery wreck is located near a busy shipping channel
The SS Richard Montgomery wreck is located near a busy shipping channel
Pictured left, the SS Richard Montgomery wreck is located near a busy shipping channel (still taken from a forthcoming documentary. For more information ).

More: the story of the SS Richard Montgomery is told in Colin's documentary film 'The Wreck'.

Freedom of Information request - SS Richard Montgomery's condition and cargo contents.

Video - Wrecks Around Britain.

 


Still from Into Eternity
Still from Into Eternity
Nuclear waste – a final solution - listen in new player

Into Eternity is the latest documentary from Danish director Michael Madsen. View photos.

In it, he goes deep into the bowels of a bunker being built at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in Finland, an attempt at a final solution to the problem of their nuclear waste.

The film takes the form of a message to future inhabitants who might happen to stumble across the facility, telling them about this place, if only to keep them away.

That’s because it’s a facility that needs to last for as long as the nuclear waste is toxic – about 100,000 years.


Into Eternity - Trailer


Desk in living room, abandoned farm Maison Kirsch, Luxembourg
Desk in living room, abandoned farm Maison Kirsch, Luxembourg
Finding beauty in abandoned buildings - listen in new player

Urban explorer Martijn Zegwaard grew up in the ‘new’ Dutch town of Almere – like him, it’s just 33 years old – which may explain his fascination with history. View photos.

He visits abandoned buildings across the world and takes photos of the faded glory he finds inside.

Martijn tells host Marnie Chesterton why he risks life and limb to record a snapshot of people’s past lives.

View more photos by Martijn Zegwaard on Flickr.


Dominic Bourke and Celeste Geer
Dominic Bourke and Celeste Geer
Rising from the ashes - listen in new player

Dom and Celeste were living their dream in Australia’s bush, an hour away from Melbourne.

They’d built their own home and relished bringing up their young family in Strathewen.

But the summer of 2009 was sweltering. Temperatures rose and suddenly the inevitable happened, the bush was ablaze, moving at a ferocious speed through the valley and up onto the hillsides.

Their community was annihilated and 30 people died.

What remained of Dom and Celeste's property, Strathewen, February 2009
What remained of Dom and Celeste's property, Strathewen, February 2009
Dom and Celeste were one of the lucky ones, their home and family survived, but they still needed to make sense of the tragedy.

Celeste did what she did best and made a film called Then the Wind Changed, a documentary about their family and community’s recovery.

The couple speak frankly to Marnie about their decision to stay and rebuild their lives. View photos.

  • SS Richard Montgomery, 4 months old<br>&copy; Colin Harvey - all rights reserved - http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com/
  • The SS Richard Montgomery&#039;s last moments, 1944<br>&copy; Colin Harvey - all rights reserved - http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com/
  • The US and RN Wreck Survey Team, 1944<br>&copy; Colin Harvey - all rights reserved - http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com/
  • SS Richard Montgomery, 1966<br>&copy; Colin Harvey - all rights reserved - http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com/
  • SS Richard Montgomery, 2011<br>&copy; Colin Harvey - all rights reserved - http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com/
  • SS Richard Montgomery - recent underwater image<br>&copy; Colin Harvey - all rights reserved - http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com/
  • Michael Madsen, director of Into Eternity<br>&copy; Into Eternity - http://www.intoeternitythemovie.com/
  • Still from Into Eternity<br>&copy; Into Eternity - http://www.intoeternitythemovie.com/
  • Still from Into Eternity<br>&copy; Into Eternity - http://www.intoeternitythemovie.com/
  • Still from Into Eternity<br>&copy; Into Eternity - http://www.intoeternitythemovie.com/
  • Still from Into Eternity<br>&copy; Into Eternity - http://www.intoeternitythemovie.com/
  • Abandoned Polish church, built 1785<br>&copy; Martijn Zegwaard - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martino_
  • Master bedroom, abandoned farm, Maison Kirsch, Luxembourg<br>&copy; Martijn Zegwaard - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martino_
  • Living area, abandoned 1920s castle, Barcelona area, Spain<br>&copy; Martijn Zegwaard - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martino_
  • Four poster bed, abandoned 1920s castle, Barcelona area Spain<br>&copy; Martijn Zegwaard - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martino_
  • Mouldy books, abandoned 1920s castle, Barcelona area Spain<br>&copy; Martijn Zegwaard - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martino_
  • Grand staircase, abandoned farm Maison Heinen, Luxembourg<br>&copy; Martijn Zegwaard - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martino_
  • Master bedroom, abandoned farm Maison Heinen, Luxembourg<br>&copy; Martijn Zegwaard - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martino_
  • Old family photo and accounting book, abandoned farm Maison Heinen, Luxembourg<br>&copy; Martijn Zegwaard - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martino_
  • Abandoned royal castle, Belgium<br>&copy; Martijn Zegwaard - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martino_
  • First bedroom, abandoned royal castle, Belgium<br>&copy; Martijn Zegwaard - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martino_
  • Second bedroom, abandoned royal castle, Belgium<br>&copy; Martijn Zegwaard - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martino_
  • Control room, Inverkip Power Station, Scotland<br>&copy; Martijn Zegwaard - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martino_
  • Induced Draft, Inverkip Power Station, Scotland<br>&copy; Martijn Zegwaard - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martino_
  • Leak detection pipes, Inverkip Power Station, Scotland<br>&copy; Martijn Zegwaard - http://www.flickr.com/photos/martino_
  • The family was reunited three days after the fire<br>&copy; Then The Wind Changed - http://www.thenthewindchanged.com/
  • Epicormal growth, June 2009<br>&copy; Then The Wind Changed - http://www.thenthewindchanged.com/
  • An iridescent moss covers the ash, July 2009<br>&copy; Then The Wind Changed - http://www.thenthewindchanged.com/
  • Rebuilding begins, August 2009<br>&copy; Then The Wind Changed - http://www.thenthewindchanged.com/

Discussion

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You really should investigate the LFTR design, which use a thorium/u-233 fuel cycle. It was designed in the 60's at Oak Ridge, as a much safer way to generate power, and killed because it created very little plutonium. This was an unforgivable sin, because that was the height of the cold war, and lots of plutonium was a good thing. There is a myth that was created that nuclear energy meant long-lived radioactive waste. That really doesn't need to be true.

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