A half-mile below the surface of the New Mexico desert, the federal government is interring thousands of tons of monstrously dangerous leftovers from its nuclear weapons program --plutonium-infested clothing, tools and chemical sludge that will remain potentially lethal for thousands of years to come.
It may be safely secured now, but how to keep our descendants centuries in the future from accidentally unearthing it?
That's the question posed by the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the nation’s only underground repository for military-generated radioactive waste.
To address it, the Department of Energy convened a conclave of scientists, linguists, anthropologists and sci-fi thinkers to develop an elaborate system intended to shout 'Danger!' to any human being for the next 10,000 years -- regardless of what language they speak or technology they use.