Monday, 14 March 2011

Into Eternity

This is poem, this is a letter, this is a warning to future generations. Remember to forget. This is nuclear waste, and it should be left alone from now... Into Eternity.

More specifically, it is about the Onkalo, a nuclear waste disposal site in Finland. It should be finished in 2100, and then sealed off... although containing only a fraction of the nuclear waste generated during that time.(*) This film looks at the structure and asks "this is supposed to be left untouched for 100,000 years. Will it be?"

In particular, will it be left alone by humans? Will there still be humans? Will they understand the dangers? Will they be able to read the warnings left behind?

Director Michael Madsen tries to paint a rather haunting, bleak picture, although the positivity of the people he talks to undercuts that somewhat. Yes, it is a disturbing idea, dumping the waste and hoping no-one pokes their finger into it, but everyone he talks to, while admitting the possibility, doesn't really take it seriously. It could happen, but the world would have had to go a pretty bad way for it to be a serious issue, and then there would be "seriouser" issues.

An interesting documentary, but one that doesn't entirely hold up.

(*) Disposing waste into the sun is disregarded with a casual "the rocket might blow up on the launch pad". Yes, it might, but I would like to think this option would become safer, especially if we ever get that damned space elevator.

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