Work No. 672; A Hundred Thousand Years


A Hundred Thousand Years
© Michael St.Mark 2013


After Damien Hirst’s 1990 ” A Thousand Years”

Topical as reminder of the UK’s own “Fukushima”, this completely man-made ( or more accurately politician ambition-caused ) nuclear accident, the severity of which was covered-up at the time with, predictably, the workers who saved the day taking the rap.

Image; Reactor pile no 1 chimney still containing ten tons of melted uranium fuel from the Windscale ( now Sellafield) fire in 1957 that will remain highly radioactive beyond 1000 human generations.

In 1957, a fire broke out in No 1 of the twin ‘piles’ or reactors. It was only discovered 50 hours later, and took three days to bring under control.

The blaze was caused by heat building up in the reactor after a series of safety blunders. As the fire raged, workers at the plant used hoses to try to cool the reactor.

However, contaminated air escaped through the 400ft-high chimney and rose over the Lake District in a long grey plume. Eventually, radioactive particles fell on to the local countryside or were caught in a changing wind, which blew them further inland towards Wales and over the sea to Ireland.

CONTEXT _______________________________________________________________________________________


DATA ________________________________________________________________________________________
Signed edition of one worldwide digital photo ( procured from the public road outside the Sellafield workers’ main gate ) 16MB file size( rendered to historical film coloration to reflect the era in which the fire took place ) giclee print, 32″ x 34″ hand-finished and to be bordered by a 5cm surround mount adhered with particles of surface mud-sand scooped from the local public beach ( officially non hazardous! ).
For price please contact the gallery or email

3 thoughts on “Work No. 672; A Hundred Thousand Years

  1. Hmmmm may not be so bracing for much longer! I now feel even more miserable at your ‘Jobs comforting’ comment——-Fracking, no thanks!

    The only good thing about an earthquake may be the thought of it swallowing up American trucks with cranes on!! 🙂


  2. this is a familiar sight to me,I just hope no locals ever have to suffer any consequences as a result of the fire and any possible radiation escape there may have been at the time.

    There will never be any danger that those who allow these plants to be built will ever have to live near one——can you imagine the outcry if someone suggested a site in leafy Hampstead for the processing of radioactive Plutonium?

    It sometimes feels like this country must be a laughing stock throughout the world as we take the nuclear waste that others are glad to see the back of!


    • .. and the “best” may be yet to come, Mrs B, with the expected go-ahead for nationwide commercial-scale fracking that is already proven to cause local earthquakes.
      Tons of buried high-level radioactive waste suddenly open to the elements… ahh that bracing Sellafield sea air!


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