Film explores implications of long-term storage of nuclear waste

Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Gold Town Nickelodeon will host a special screening of “Into Eternity” tonight, the last night of the film’s two-day run.

The documentary, directed by Michael Madsen, concerns the long-term storage of nuclear waste, specifically a permanent repository in Finland called Onkalo. The facility is currently being built five miles below ground in Finland’s bedrock, and once complete is meant to stand intact for more than 100,000 years, at which point the waste will be considered safe. To put this figure in perspective, the human species as we know it is believed to have existed for about that length of time; the oldest cave paintings we know of are about 30,000 years old.

Spent nuclear fuel is usually kept at ground level in interim storage facilities, but because the sites are vulnerable to natural events and changes, more stable, long-term locations are being sought. Onkala, which means “hiding place,” is the world’s first permanent repository.

Theater manager Collette Costa said the film is unpolitical in tone, focusing on philosophical and theological issues, such as how we can warn — or even communicate with -- future generations about the site’s contents.

The movie will be shown at 7 pm tonight at the Gold Town Nickelodeon, in the Emporium Mall.

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