Written for Canadian Community News by Mike Sterling
Since our local Nuclear Power Plant and the NWMO storage site contains 40% of the Canadian Nuclear waste, it behooves us to look at what others are considering or doing.
Tiny Finland seems to be out ahead of the rest of the world in working on a 'permanent' solution to their Nuclear Waste. They have a 100,000 year vision. They have gone through much of the process that is required in order to find a low risk solution. See background on these two subjects below:
Finland has studied the problem since
the 1970's as have other nations. What Finland is
doing now and their decision process is worthy of study.
They have not found it easy, but they are hard at work
digging a Deep Geologic Repository
(DGR) that we should examine. Before we do,
take a look at the short video of a little over 3
Finland has studied the problem since the 1970's as have other nations. What Finland is doing now and their decision process is worthy of study. They have not found it easy, but they are hard at work digging a Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) that we should examine. Before we do, take a look at the short video of a little over 3 minutes:
Video Explaining Finnish DGR
Note the huge white canister that is much like those used at the Bruce to store waste fuel after some six years in water storage.
The time line at the right that stretches from 2012 forward 4.46 Billion years shows the breakdown of the waste components. Examining this we see why stewardship of the future is in the hands of the present generation and future generations.
The present program, if fully implemented, will deal with only Finland's nuclear waste. As you can see from the video, they are well under way digging.
Their process included science and sociology too. The final 'go' will be this year, but you can see they are digging some 1600 feet down now.
The planning is for 100,000 years and includes possible next ice ages that are bound to come. Can the site stand the pressure of a mile of ice packed above it? That was a question that they had to convince themselves that they could answer positively. For every option in the process, they tested risk agains their solution set.
Their leadership asked the proper question of the Finish people and themselves:
Can we obligate 3,000 future generations to our waste or should we find a solution in our lifetime?
I for one would like to know more about their decision process and also the social aspects of it.
These are important issues and they must be considered carefully with as little emotion as possible. After all Nuclear Power is here. If it stopped today world-wide, the waste management problem would not change
This article is written in the Science section. It might be good to study it from a scocio-economic standpoint too. I'm sure Finland did that. It's not over yet. The final approval will be this year.
What we should do as lay people is study what other solutions the Fins considered including doing nothing and find out why they were rejected.
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Saturday, April 07, 2012