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Nuclear waste is a term used to refer to nuclear material that has been marked for disposal. Because nuclear waste emits radiation that is dangerous to human and natural life, it needs to be contained until the radiation has been depleted to such an extent that it is no longer a threat to eliminate. The containers that contain them are usually colored yellow with a black trefoil logo to warn about its radioactivity.
During the 1980s, Diamond Dogs when disarming their nukes put their nuclear waste in yellow drum cans, which they then place into a secure concrete structure located deep beneath the ocean. During their first attempt at doing so, however, the nuclear waste ruptured, exposing the men to 100 rads of radiation and forcing them to be hospitalized upon containing the leak, although they were nonetheless successful in presumably putting it in cold storage.
By the 2000s, the nuclear waste from disarmed nukes had increased to such an extent that they had warehouses upon warehouses of nuclear waste, with the stacks reaching very high, though unfortunately it also meant that they weren't properly contained, and were also both a radiation hazard as well as a security hazard. It was bad enough that then-ArmsTech president Kenneth Baker even told Solid Snake that, contrary to the latter's belief that the nuclear age was over, the nuclear age had arguably gotten even worse. Shadow Moses Island was officially a nuclear disposal facility and thus contained various drums of nuclear waste, although secretly it was a weapons development base for the development of Metal Gear REX. In large part because of its official designation as a nuclear disarmament and disposal facility, they had a nuclear warhead storage facility for dismantling them, and the stored containers for removed warheads also had the risk of rupturing and causing a biohazard, meaning no one was allowed to use any weapons in the room out of risk of destroying them (and in the case of Solid Snake, had to have his nanomachines block his use of weapons to ensure he can't fire the weapons), and as such required poison gas to deter intruders (and the guards wearing gas masks as a result). In addition, the underground base for Metal Gear REX had contaminated water containing nuclear waste runoff that would gradually kill anyone who had direct exposure to the waste. These were eventually removed after the Shadow Moses Incident, which also allowed Solid Snake to fire his weapons in the former warhead storage facility during his return trip to Shadow Moses Island in 2014 without any concerns.
Behind the scenes
- "Fuel from nuclear weapons that have been marked for disposal is vitrified and contained in a concrete structure at the bottom at the ocean."
- ―Nuclear waste description in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Nuclear waste was first mentioned in Metal Gear Solid as well as its remake, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. It later appeared as a usable item in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, "created" by disarming a nuclear weapon. Disarming a nuclear weapon required the player to spend 100,000 GMP. Disarming at least one nuclear weapon will net the player with the Nuclear Disarmament trophy/achievement.
- Metal Gear Solid (first appearance)
- Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain