How to dispose of nuclear waste is an issue that’s divided opinion for years. And as the world’s most dangerous waste takes thousands of years to become safe, it’s a debate that’s not going to go away.
“Just look around – what sick person could ever conceive an idea? That is what is so frightening”, says anti-nuclear waste dump protestor, Muir Lachlan. In Britain’s picturesque Lake District, locals have been fighting against plans for an underground dump, with concerns about it ruining the local landscape and its tourist industry. Meanwhile, Finland is constructing a new underground high-level radioactive waste dump and it’s being broadly welcomed by the locals. “We have room for 12,000 tonnes of uranium here”, says geologist, Anntii Jousten. Tunnelling nearly half a kilometre below the surface, Onkalo has been constructed to last for 100,000 years. “No major earthquakes have occurred here in over one billion years. In that sense if you talk about 100,000 years, it’s not so much”, Jousten insists. With 437 nuclear power plants around the world, and with many more on the drawing boards, the critical choices being made by these countries will have a major impact on many future generations to come.