Wednesday 13 July 2011

Into Eternity

Dear Friends,
Have you seen this film/documentary? I saw it on Japanese TV in February, before the quake. If you get a chance, do watch it.

Finland has a law, the Nuclear Energy Act, that says nuclear waste must be disposed of within the country. So a huge underground storage facility is being built to keep the waste safe, deep underground and in Russian doll type containers, until it is no longer radioactive -  for 100,000 years. Yes, that's right. 100,000 years. It is mind-boggling.

For me, the most telling part was at the end of the film when psychologists are discussing whether to mark the site or not. Would people be able to read in 100,000 years? What language would they speak? Would they understand our symbols for 'Danger' or 'Radiation'? Human beings are curious creatures. If some sign were left, people would be tempted to look for 'buried treasure'. Best to leave the grave unmarked, to have the place forgotten. Forever.

This is the situation we are in. There's already a lot of nuclear waste in the world that needs dealing with. We shouldn't make any more until we've dealt with what we have - or have found a solution. Here's a link to the trailer for the film.

Prime Minister Kan today announced that Japan is going to wean itself off nuclear power. So that's a start. And Mr Son, head of Softbank mobile phone company, is going to cover the country in solar panels. But there's a lot of work to do yet to ensure that Japan makes a 'soft landing'.
Bye for now,

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