In July 2017, Ele Carpenter joined the Nuclear History field trip to see the old nuclear bomb stores at RAF Barnham and Honington. Barnham was built to store first-generation Blue Danube atomic bombs, and is undergoing restoration with support from English Heritage. Honington is still an operational RAF base, and houses the Supplementary Storage Area which was used for weapons storage between the late 1950s and 1990s, and the Hardened Aircraft Shelters which were also cleared for bomb storage in the 1990s. The Nuclear History conference group is organised by Dr Richard Moore at the Centre for Science and Security Studies, Dept of War Studies, Kings College London.
Dave Griffiths and Ele Carpenter travelled with BBC Producer Beatrice Pickup and presenter Gordon Young to the Greycroft Stone Circle and Sellafield nuclear site, Cumbria, UK on 23rd January 2017. The day was spent recording for a BBC Radio 4 documentary on ‘Radioactive Art’ broadcast on 2 March 2017: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08g7tv3
Nuclear Culture Project in partnership with Z33, SCK-CEN and NIRAS/NIROND
Artists Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead, Alexis DeStoop, Maarten Vanden Eynde and Tuur Van Balen along with curators Ele Carpenter and Ils Huygens were given an indepth introduction to the history of Belgian’s nuclear industry, properties of radiation, the HADES research lab in Mol, and the test architecture for the Low Level waste site at Dessel.
Nuclear Culture Field Research: HADES Belgium
Arts Catalyst & Z33 House for Contemporary Arts, Belgium
11 – 13 July 2016
Members of the Nuclear Culture Research Group visited to HADES, Belgium’s underground research lab for geologic disposal of high level radioactive waste. The research trip was organised in partnership with Z33, Hasselt, and ONDRAF / NIRAS the Belgian Agency for radioactive waste and enriched fissile materials. Artists Kota Takeuchi, Andy Weir, David Griffiths and curators Ils Huygens and Ele Carpenter spent three days visiting Z33 in Hasselt, meeting with our partners at ONDRAF / NIRAS and SCK-CEN going into the underground research laboratory. The field research trip is part of the Z33 research programme on Time.
Constructed in 1980 the HADES lab is 255m underground and built in a deep clay for the purpose of researching the possibility of geological disposal in clay. Like underground laboratories in France, Sweden and Japan, the research lab is not intended to be used as a final repository for radioactive waste. Hades is also the Greek God of the underworld.
Lise Autogena and Ele Carpenter presented at the the InSOTEC conference ‘Rethinking what is Social and What is Technical in (Long term) Radioactive Waste Management’, in Berlin, 12-13 November 2013.
In September 2014 Ele Carpenter attended the Constructing Memory Conference, Verdun, Northern France, and presented a poster of Thomson & Craighead’s proposal for a Nuclear Semiotic Marker. The conference included a field trip to the CIEGO Underground Research Laboratory for storage of high level radioactive waste at Bure, 500m below ground.
In July 2014 The Actinium exhibition took place alongside the SIAF2014 Sapporo International Art Festival in Japan. The exhibition present work by James Acord (USA), Shuji Akagi (J), Chim↑Pom (J), Crowe & Rawlinson (UK/De), Karen Kramer (USA/UK), Cécile Massart (Belgium), Eva & Franco Mattes (USA), Thomson & Craighead (UK/Scotland). Curated by Ele Carpenter in partnership with The Arts Catalyst and S-Air. The project included the Actinium forum and field trips to nuclear sites, bringing together artists, researchers and activists investigating nuclear culture from the UK and Japan.
The field trip to Fukushima City and Prefecture included artists Jon Thomson, Alison Craighead, Karen Kramer and Susan Schuppli, with Curator Ele Carpenter, Arts Catalyst Director Nicola Triscott, Producer Gillean Dickie, and S-Air Programme Director Kyoko Tachibana. We were guided by artists Shugi Akagi, Kota Takeuchi and Mura from Nomad.
In July 2014 the Actinium project included a field trip to see the different kinds of energy production on Hokkaido, Japan, including visiting the Underground Research Laboratory at Horonobe, 350m below ground.
In 2013 the Nuclear Culture field trip to the decommissioned nuclear powered submarine HMS Courageous at Devonport Naval Base, Plymouth included Nick Crowe & Ian Rawlinson, Susan Schuppli, Ele Carpenter and Lucia Garavaglia.
In 2013 Ele Carpenter traveled with artists Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead to the Low Level Waste Ltd site, near the village of Drigg in Cumbria. Like many nuclear sites, the acronym title of the site fails to fulfill the role of a proper name, and instead the site is commonly known by the name of the local town or village. Whilst the absence of a proper name could be a strategy of nuclear invisibility, it has the adverse affect of tarnishing the locale as a nuclear site. The same problem occurs with nuclear power stations and underground research laboratories.