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Into Eternity 1 of 6 (What Happens to Nuclear Waste?)

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I would say... that you are now on place where... we have burried something from you to protect you. And we have taken great pain to be sure that you are protected. We also need you to know that this place should not be disturbed. And we want you to know that this is not a place for you to live in. You should stay away from this place and then you will be safe. I am now in this place where you should never come. We call it Onkalo. Onkalo meens hidingplace. In my time it is still unfinished though work began in the 20th century when I was just a child. Work will be completed in the 21nd century long after my death. Onkalo must last 100.000 years Nothing build by man has lasted even 1/10 of that timespan. But we consider ourselves a very potent civilisation. If we succeed Onkalo will most likely be the longest lasting remains of our civilisation. If you sometime into the future find this what will it tell you about us? Once mankind started to use nuclear power to generate electricity it was obvious that we will also generate some waste. which has to be treated so that it dosn't harm anybody. And you can't make nuclear waste go away. You cannot make nuclear waste harmeless. So several ways how to get rid of the waste were explored. Sent it in a rocket out to the sun. It disapears - it would never make harm to anyone. How to insure that the rocket dosn't explode on the launch pad? Or sink into deap sea? We would never be able to claim that we can safely put something into the buttom of the oceans. Because still we have an impression that the oceans are really the mother of all life. It's not a safe way of handling spent nuclear fuel or radioactive waste. How much waste exists in the world today totally? I'm not quite aware... I would say between 200.000 and 300.000 tons Somewhere between these two. We already have enormous amounts of nuclear waste all over the world. If this waste spills out into nature it will cause death and destruction. Large areas will become uninhabitable for a long long time. Did that happen are there forbidden zones with no life in your time. A hundred years ago - just three human generations ago when radiation was first discovered we didn't understand that it was very dangerous but we noticed that it can be usefull. And we started to work with it. Radiation is a sort of energy which can penetrade deep into your body and harm your health. But it is an invisible danger. We have no sence for it. You cannot see it, feel it, or smell it. And still it may even kill you. Radiation then can be descriped as small packages of energy. And when they hit the genetic code - DNA molecule - they can break it, split it. If you have a very very serious whole body exposure you don't fell anything until one hour or so afterwards when you start to feel nausea and you may vomit and you may think you have got a food poisoning. And in between you may fell better but only after two weeks you start to bleed, you have diarrhea, and fever. And after a few weeks you may even die from this. Radiation can also leave a trace in you. It can change the genes - mutate the genes. It will cause malformation or disease or dysfunction. So beware. Never stay in an area with enhanced radiation level. And never ever touch upon a strong radiation source. So we are storring the waste today above ground in water pools. The reason why it's kept in water pools is that water creates a shield for radiation. Keeping the waste in tanks this is probably possible for the next 10 years 20 years 100 years 1.000 years You just can't guarantee stable conditions above ground for instance for 100 years let alone thousands of years. These storages they need surveillance they need power in order to cool the water pools they need maintainance. But we can't keep this waste for ever in the water pools. There has been 2 world wars during the last 100 years. The world above ground is unstable. We have to find a permanent solution. Or more safer solution in the long run. My civilisation depends on energy as no civilisation before us. Energy is the main currency for us. Is it the same for you? Does your way of life also depend on unlimited energy? What we must do is to take care of the waste from the nuclear power plants. I think that more and more societies in countries who are using the nuclear power are realising that they also have

Video Details

Duration: 14 minutes and 59 seconds
Country: Denmark
Language: English
Producer: Magic Hour Films in coproduction with Mouka Filmi, Atmo, Film I Vaest
Director: Michael Madsen
Views: 9,819
Posted by: tinaki on May 16, 2011

A documentary film on nuclear waste produced/ directed with the support of the Danish Film Institute, Eurimaces, Finnish Film Foundation, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Swedish Film Institute, Avek. It's about what happens to everyday nuclear waste, the kind that comes from fueling nuclear power plants. Enter Onkalo, a nuclear waste vault being blasted out of solid bedrock in remote Finland. Once finished, filled and sealed, it's supposed to keep radioactive refuse removed from the environment for 100,000 years. But what happens if a curious archaeologist stumbles upon our 'pyramid' at its half time or before?

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