Robo-Chernobyl and the Alcubierre Drive

In light of an interview I’m about to post with architect Lebbeus Woods, I thought I’d point out two quick bits of recent news.

1) The heavily irradiated failed nuclear complex at Chernobyl will soon be “encased in steel.”
This “arched structure,” New Scientist calls it, “will be 150 metres long and 105 metres tall – big enough to allow the existing sarcophagus and the wrecked reactor to be dismantled and permanently entombed.”
That “existing sarcophagus” is actually a giant shell of concrete that “was hastily built over the wreckage” back in 1986. It has already begun “leaking radioactivity” and needs to be replaced.

[Image: Via the BBC].

The BBC helpfully points out that this “giant arch-shaped structure” will be slipped over top of the existing buildings via purpose-built railways – thus creating Robo-Chernobyl™, the world’s first scientifically viable comic book super-villain-creation lab.

2) Meanwhile, we also read that it might yet be possible to construct “a protective bubble” around future spaceships so that they can “zip across the galaxy.” Each ship would have space-time “bunched up in front of it and stretched out behind it.”
These “new and improved bunchings and stretching of space-time” involve the generation of a “warp bubble,” a “mathematical configuration” of space that will wildly amplify the surrounding radiation – but will allow, in the process, faster-than-light galaxial travel.
Called an Alcubierre drive, named after the physicist who first proposed it, the effect would really be a kind of mathematically augmented architecture that alters the local structure of the universe.

And now onto the interview with Lebbeus Woods

2 thoughts on “Robo-Chernobyl and the Alcubierre Drive”

  1. You can find a fictional treatment of an Alcubierre drive in Warren Ellis’ Orbiter. I’d say more, but don’t want to ruin anything if anyone who happens to pick it up.

  2. I am waiting for the fierce protests from the Star Trek community, IF that thing actually works at a given point and still is called Alcubierre drive. Letter writing campaign, anyone? 😉

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