Inside secret underground tunnels storing nuclear waste for 100,000 years via Express


THE WORLD’s first underground nuclear waste dump is being built deep in the bedrock beneath a remote Finnish island.

The Onkalo tunnel will be the final resting place for spent nuclear fuel 450 beneath the surface of Olkiluoto island, 143 miles northwest of Helsinki. The tunnel has been designed to survive without future maintenance for an astonishing 100,000 years.

Highly radioactive waste will be placed inside copper canisters before being transferred into tunnels and then further into deposition holes where it will be buried beneath layers of bentonite clay and concrete.


The International Atomic Energy Agency estimates that there is now a global stockpile of around a quarter of a million tonnes of highly radioactive spent fuel in some 14 countries.

A Greenpeace report warned: “The majority of this spent fuel remains in cooling pools at reactor sites that lack defence-in-depth such as secondary containment and are vulnerable to loss of cooling, and in many cases lack independent back-up power.”


In his book Underland, author Robert Macfarlane says: “For as long as we have been producing nuclear waste we have been failing to decide how to dispose of it.

“Uranium was created in supernova explosions around 6.6 billion years ago, and is part of the space dust out of which the planet formed.


“Over a quarter of a million tons of high-level nuclear waste in need of final storage is presently thought to exist globally, with around 12,000 tons being added to that figure annually.”


The final disposal is scheduled to start in the 2020s and according to current plans, the repository would be sealed up 100 years from then.

Read more at Inside secret underground tunnels storing nuclear waste for 100,000 years

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