What you are about to see in the documentary Into Eternity is the Netherlands’s answer to an age-old problem. The film attempts to answer the question; What do we do with the waste from the result of using nuclear energy that gives us electricity, submarine power and even yes the development of weaponry. The Fins and Swedes feel they have found an answer and are releasing their film worldwide.
In documentary form officials, scientists and their spokespersons introduce a problem the government of Finland and Sweden are now facing, ‘Should they tell the people of the world where they are burying the waste from their Nuclear Power plants?’ You see, there is no scientific formula for reusing the nuclear waste that is the by-product of making the electricity the country uses (the same problem facing countries that have nuclear power plants throughout the world) therefore it must be burried.
In Finland they have buried their nuclear waste in a pit miles below their country in a rock bed that they believe will keep it from exploding, giving off radio active energy or any future contamination, forever. Their only dilemma is should they keep the place a secret so no one will find it for 100,000 years or tell each generation where it is and not to go near it for eternity?
Why would I want to know where this stuff is buried? Well according to the documentary, some people may accidentally find it, an earthquake may disturb its resting place or even an unknown volcano may cause the stuff to be exposed. Um, if they haven’t found a way to reuse the trash, and there is no other place to put it, then it’s best left unknown. If in 50,000 years from now someone trips over it, then so be it. Hopefully they already will have an answer to the reversal of nuclear waste.
There isn’t a lot you can say about the film. Even though it drags a bit, seems like a self-serving pat on the back and gets repetitive, the message rings clear that if we are going to use Nuclear Energy for any purpose, the waste must be put in a place where it cannot be touched for 100,000 years.
I am neither a physicist nor an expert on what happens when humans get exposed to radiation. But it seems to me it is something very bad. If we are to live on the only earth we have, then all countries should follow in the footsteps of the Netherlands.
Is the message good? ABSOLUTLY, and for that reason I recommend it for required viewing by every government agency, office and even the president/queen/officiate of every country in the world, especially if they are going to or are in the process of using plutonium for any reason.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A HOT topic that needs to be addressed. (B)
The film is in English but has helpful subtitles as well due to the Finish accents.
Onkalo – the world’s FIRST permanent nuclear waste repository
Onkalo is a Finnish word for hiding place. It is situated at Olkiluoto in Finland – approximately 300 km northwest of Helsinki and it’s the world’s first attempt at a permanent repository. It is a huge system of underground tunnels hewn out of solid bedrock. Work on the concept behind the facility commenced in 1970s and the repository is expected to be backfilled and decommissioned in the 2100s – more than a century from now. No person working on the facility today will live to see it completed. The Finnish and Swedish Nuclear Authorities are collaborating on the project, and Sweden is planning a similar facility, but has not begun the actual construction of it.
Facts about nuclear waste
High-level nuclear waste is the inevitable end result of nuclear energy production. The waste will remain radioactive and/or radiotoxic for at least 100,000 years. It is estimated that the total amount of high-level nuclear waste in the world today is between 250,000 and 300,000 tons. The amount of waste increases daily.
Radioactive waste is hazardous to all living organisms and exposure to radiation may result in death, incurable disease, as well as mutation of the genetic code. The security standards are based on theoretical assumptions, as humanity has no previous experience to build on with regards to radioactive waste. In Europe there is a security standard of 100,000 years for the minimum period that the waste must remain isolated from all living organisms; in the US it is 1,000,000 years.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
February 16, 2010
Obama Administration Announces Loan Guarantees to Construct New Nuclear Power Reactors in Georgia
Conditional deal is major step towards restarting the domestic nuclear industry
Washington D.C. — Underscoring his Administration’s commitment to jumpstarting the nation’s nuclear power industry, President Obama today announced that the Department of Energy has offered conditional commitments for a total of $8.33 billion in loan guarantees for the construction and operation of two new nuclear reactors at a plant in Burke, Georgia. The project is scheduled to be the first U.S. nuclear power plant to break ground in nearly three decades.
“To meet our growing energy needs and prevent the worst consequences of climate change, we need to increase our supply of nuclear power and today’s announcement helps to move us down that path. But energy leaders and experts recognize that as long as producing carbon pollution carries no cost, traditional plants that use fossil fuels will be more cost-effective than plants that use nuclear fuel. That is why we need comprehensive energy and climate legislation to create a system of incentives to make clean energy profitable,” said President Obama. “What I hope this announcement underscores is both our commitment to meeting the energy challenge – and our willingness to look at this challenge not as a partisan issue, but as a matter far more important than politics.”
The two new 1,100 megawatt Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant will supplement the two existing reactor units at the facility. According to industry projections, the project will create approximately 3,500 onsite construction jobs. Once the nuclear reactors become operational, the project will create 800 permanent jobs.
“This is a significant step by the Obama Administration to restart our domestic nuclear industry, helping to create valuable long-term jobs and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.
Project sponsors include Georgia Power Company (GPC), Oglethorpe Power Corporation (OPC), the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG) and the City of Dalton, Georgia (Dalton).
For more information, please visit www.lgprogram.energy.gov.
Some information supplied in this review came from Michael Madsen’s movie press notes