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Review: “Into Eternity,” a documentary about nuclear waste

“Into Eternity,” a documentary commenting on the construction of a nuclear waste repository addresses the danger of nuclear waste, and humanity’s effort to dispose of it.

Documentary director Michael Madsen worries about our generation’s effect on the future of humanity. “Into Eternity” addresses the audience in the future.

The film follows the ongoing construction of the Onkalo Waste Repository on the island of Olkiluoto, Finland. Phase one began in 2004, and consists of the construction of a large access tunnel going down 420 meters into the earth. In 2009 phase two tunneled down to 520 meters. The project is expected to be complete in 2020, and will have enough space to hold waste until 2120.

In 2120, the final encapsulation will take place.

Once sealed, the repository must be left unopened for 100,000 years, at which time the nuclear waste will no longer be toxic. Madsen worries about the safety of future generations discovering the repository and opening it before it is safe. 100,000 years is longer than any human made structure has ever lasted.

All the directors of the repository had to say to future generations was, “good luck.”

Michael Madsen’s film brought to light a huge issue of the modern era. What do we do with our toxic nuclear waste? Burying it underground is a present day solution to save us from the toxic waste. How can we ensure the future generations will not discover Onkalo? Madsen questions whether markers should be left to let future generations know that what they have discovered is dangerous. The fear is that the future generations will believe they have found the pyramids of our time.

It is devastating to think that we have to say “good luck” to the future. Our generation should not leave our world in ruins, threatening the survival of the future. This powerful film made me aware of the problem with nuclear waste disposal and made me fearful for the lives of those in the future. This is an important issue that many are not aware of. But one we must be aware of for the sake of the future.

This film brings a future crisis to the present day. “Into Eternity” forces us to think about the consequences of our lifestyles, and the affect it will have on the future.