Finland is the first country in the world to devise a system to permanently store all the radioactive waste generated by its nuclear power plants. The western Finnish town of Eurajok actually campaigned to get the facility. Spent nuclear fuel frompower plants will be transported to the site, then transferred into steel canisters at the above-ground part of the facility. Those are put into copper capsules and lowered into carved-out bedrock, with the tunnel backfilled and sealed. The fuel needs to be isolated for 100,000 years.
Class discussion: Why have other nations – like the United States – failed to come up with permanent disposal plans for radioactive waste? Where is this very dangerous material stored now? Do you live near a plant where spent nuclear fuel has been stored “temporarily” for many decades? Nuclear plants can produce vast amounts of power without producing greenhouse gasses. Do we need to use nuclear power to help replace the fossil fuels blamed for global warming? Is it possible to build safe nuclear plants and find safe ways to store the radioactive waste?