As in all things we do, we humans have a very shortsighted view of the future. We have 5-year plans, we discuss what might happen by the end of the century, and all the while, we are destroying species and ecosystems that took thousands of years to develop. Nuclear wastes will be with us for tens or hundreds of thousands of years. Don’t we expect to be around still? Do we expect that within a few hundred years we will have found the means to destroy our wastes? Scientists are warning that our civilization may not survive human-caused global warming and our planet-wide ecocide. Our descendants, living in collapsing buildings and searching the ruins for anything edible, do not need radiation sickness to contend with as well.
Finland’s Nuclear Waste Solution. IEEE Spectrum, By Sandra Upson 30 Nov 2009 Here on Olkiluoto Island, the forest is king. Elk and deer graze near sun-dappled rivers and shimmering streams, and humans search out blueberries and chanterelle mushrooms. Weathered red farmhouses sit along sleepy dirt roads in fields abutting the woods. Far beneath the vivid green forest, deep in the bedrock, workers are digging the labyrinthine passages and chambers that they hope to someday pack with all of Finland’s spent nuclear fuel.
Posiva, the Finnish company building an underground repository here, says it knows how to imprison nuclear waste for 100 000 years. These multimillennial thinkers are confident that copper canisters of Scandinavian design, tucked into that bedrock, will isolate the waste in an underground cavern impervious to whatever the future brings: sinking permafrost, rising water, earthquakes, copper-eating microbes, or oblivious land developers in the year 25 000. If the Finnish…
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