Into Eternity

The energy we use today comes at a price. The nuclear waste will remain radioactive for 100,000 years. Finland’s solution is to build a city in the rock beneath the Earth for storing the waste. The greatest safety concern is not the encasement material, the construction crew,  the seismic activity or extreme climate changes. The greatest threat is human curiosity.

Into Eternity is a 2010 documentary about Onkalo, the hiding place. Different persons involved with the project are interviewed and mixed with ominous music and slow shots of the digging of tunnels and the quiet landscape above. Our technology is good enough to keep the radioactive material from harming life above, but it is impossible to predict 100,000 years of societal development.

Will future generations remember what it was that was hidden all those millenia ago? Was it a treasure? Was it a secret revelation? Was it proof of God? Was it a beast or was it an angel*? The interviewees seem to agree that the best thing is to forget and that putting up signs would be worse. The texts or warning symbols would have to be constantly reinterpreted and translated and any breach during the years would mean the information was lost. All that would remain would be a mark of unknown origin and with an unknown purpose.

“As you watch this, one basic component behind the long term safety of ONKALO has failed:
ONKALO has been re-discovered.”

“You should not have come here.”

The feeling you get when thinking about what will be 100,000 years in the future and how we should behave given what we think will be haunts you throughout the movie and hopefully forever after.

*Angel means messenger

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