August 28, 2013

Into Eternity

Yesterday I saw a documentary on Al Jazeera. "Into Eternity" chronicles the attempts of Finland to bury its spent nuclear fuel in a permanent underground bunker -- one that's way, way underground.

The documentary, which is an hour long, is similar to the French documentary called "Waste: The Nuclear Nightmare", which I wrote about here. Both are essential viewing. If you think nuclear power is "clean power", watch these documentaries.

It's a frightening topic. Both docs focus on how to keep future generations away from the permanent storage site. This stuff has to be protected for at least 100,000 years! Think how long human civilization has existed. We're a small blip on a 100,000-year span. The builders of the bunker can't even rely on civilization existing for that long a time.

Perhaps written language will fall by the wayside. How, then, can we effectively warn future generations to keep away from the site of this dangerous radioactive product? Pictographs? And how will these people of the future react to our cautions? Will they think the signs that say "Keep Out" are a scam, and there's really a treasure down there? Will they dig to get to it? It's an insane problem.

And this site will only address Finland's spent fuel. What of the spent fuel that litters our global landscape? Electricity and workers are necessary to keep the fuel rods constantly bathed in cool water. Will we be around to maintain those sites for the next 100,000 years? Doubtful.

"Clean" nuclear power is a misnomer. It's the filthiest and most dangerous thing we produce on this Earth. And yet new nuclear plants are being commissioned every day. We're killing the future.

You can see the whole documentary at the above link. Do watch it. We can't ignore this problem. We have to phase out nuclear power now, and begin to move the existing spent fuel into permanent storage -- unless we don't care about future generations, that is. I know we used to care about such things, but such sentiment is no longer in vogue. More's the pity. Because if we ignore this (and climate change, BTW) we truly are lemmings.

No comments: