Finland could become the first country in the world to entomb its nuclear waste in a designated final resting place, underground, for the price of 3 billion euros – I’m sure the enviornmentalists just love this…
An unprepossessing tunnel entrance set in low forest on the western coast of Finland marks the probable final resting place of the country’s most dangerous nuclear waste. While British authorities agonise over what to do with the legacy of half a century of nuclear power, Finland is one of a handful of countries which has embarked on the journey towards a “final” waste solution.
Enter the 6.5m-high, 5m-wide (20ft-high, 16ft-wide) Onkalo tunnel, and you would drive down a spiralling track which will eventually stretch 5km (3miles) through solid rock, reaching a depth of 500m (1,600ft). The first travellers to go down the tunnel will be investigators aiming to demonstrate that the rock is structurally sound enough to proceed with the disposal of spent fuel rods containing plutonium and other unpleasant materials. If they were to turn up a positive result, and if government agencies grant the necessary licences, the first canisters of spent fuel would begin rolling down the tunnel about 15 years from now.
Hat Tip to Chris K.!