Radioactive action

03 December, 2010
Page 39 

The latest breakthrough in baking, devised via a meeting of minds in the art and nuclear science fraternities: radioactive cakes. Granted, as bakery NPD goes, this one's going to be a tough sell. But stick with us, as these cakes, using ingredients that contain radioactive isotopes, really are edible.

As part of a window display at the Wellcome Collection in London, entitled 'What if', designer Zoe Papadopoulou asked, "what if local communities informed public policy on nuclear fuel?"

Papadopoulou joined scientists from Nuclear FiRST to develop an edible yellowcake, using ingredients that contain radioactive isotopes, to challenge entrenched viewpoints and misunderstandings of health and safety risks ('Yellowcake' being a colloquialism for uranium oxide U3O8, used in nuclear reactors). The idea was to serve it up in a non-confrontational setting to people living in close proximity to nuclear reactors, and to engage in a discussion about nuclear fuel and its by-products. And what more inviting a setting than a tea party?

Hmm, the proof of the pudding on this occasion will very much be in the eating. Without wishing to commit an entrenched misunderstanding ourselves, let's hope the participants still have a full head of hair by the end of it.





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