Characters: Hermiod, Novak, OFC
Word Count: ~440
Summary: When it comes to the question of what to do with nuclear waste, all that is really needed is someone with the opportunity to make the right argument to the right person.
Notes: This has been on my computer for a while and got finished today because the matter came up in the news again.
Twelve days into the journey from Atlantis to Terra, German physicist Marga Härtling closed the footage of the people chaining themselves to the rails in her Grandmother's home town. With a fortifying breath, she marched into Engineering and, heart in her throat, approached Hermiod.
“Tell me, do the Asgard have a safe way to transport nuclear waste?”
The alien's disdainful eyes turned on her. Marga waited, half hoping, half fearing that Novak would become aware enough of her surroundings from where she was tinkering with – a propulsion module? - to come rescue her. And waited.
The answer, when Hermiod finally deigned to speak, was long and impossible to understand with Marga's single PhD, but she grasped the part where he said “radiation containment” and “really not all that different from your nuclear bombs,” indicating that Earth's nukes were far too primitive to be considered advanced or even dangerous by Asgardian standards. Deadly, true, but no more so than a well-placed stone.
Marga remained silent until she was certain he had finished and then said, “So you're saying there is no physical reason why we couldn't snatch the Castors out of Gorleben and Asse and wherever other nations park their old fuel rods and beam them into the sun?” The sun could take it, she was very sure. Compared to Sol's overall radiation level all the nuclear waste the Tau'ri could produce in 10.000 years shouldn't even make a dent.
Hermiod gave her an annoyed, dismissive glance that eloquently conveyed a notion of What do you think I have just spent 761 seconds of my valuable time explaining?
“Thank you for clarifying this for me,” Marga said. “I'll go right back to my station now and not bother you again. ...You are aware that the nuclear waste poses a serious threat to the Tau'ri genetic material in the long term?” With a respectful half-bow and a distractedly returned wave to Dr. Novak, she walked away.
When she stopped at the door and dared sneak a look at him, Hermiod was muttering to himself.
Judging by the next day's news stream, this year's protests were tapering off. On Terra, it would be out of sight, out of mind for all except those living practically on top of the sites and a few diligents. As long as no nation went berserk and threw a bomb. As long as the live reactors remained stable.
On the Daedalus, Marga caught wind of a long-distance call being made to the Asgard High Council.
By the time the ship reached Terran orbit, across the globe all the nuclear waste was reported mysteriously gone.
* * *