"Every day, the world over, large amounts of high-level radioactive waste created by nuclear power plants is placed in interim storage, which is vulnerable to natural disasters, man-made disasters, and societal changes. In Finland, the world’s first permanent repository is being hewn out of solid rock – a huge system of underground tunnels – that must last the entire period the waste remains hazardous: 100,000 years."
Into Eternity is a 2010 Finnish documentary focusing on the Onkalo repository, a 500 meters deep burying vault for permanent stockage of nuclear waste. Every year, some 12,000 tons of high-level waste are produced and they are to be shielded from us for about 100,000 years before they will be considered 'safe'.
But even the oldest known human infrastructure didn't stand more than a fraction of that time and stockage of this kind of waste for such a long period must be done without any human supervision, in an autonomous way. But then, how to make sure that it won't be dug out at some point, mistaken for an ancient tomb, or just by simple curiosity ? After all, many burial vault we explored were not meant to be open again.
Timeless, beautiful, and powerful, this documentary explores one the current way of dealing with this dangerous waste, but like all others it is not without serious shortcomings. A good way to think about nuclear power from another perspective.
Additional links you might find interesting:
Ocean disposal of radioactive waste – "From 1946 through 1993, thirteen countries used ocean disposal or ocean dumping as a method to dispose of nuclear/radioactive waste. The waste materials included both liquids and solids housed in various containers, as well as reactor vessels, with and without spent or damaged nuclear fuel."
Radioactive waste dumping by the 'Ndrangheta – "The 'Ndrangheta, a criminal organization from Calabria (Italy) has been involved in radioactive waste dumping since the 1980s. Ships with toxic and radioactive waste were sunk off the Italian coast. In addition, vessels were allegedly sent to Somalia and other developing countries with toxic waste, including radioactive waste cargoes, which were either sunk with the ship or buried on land."
About Carlito Riego
"Great perfection may appear imperfect, but its usefulness is inexhaustible. Great abundance may appear empty, but its usefulness cannot be exhausted. Great correctness may appear twisted, great skills appear crude, great eloquence appear awkward. Activity conquers cold; inactivity conquers heat. Clear serenity governs the world." - Lao Zi