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Deep in the Finnish rock, the headlights of heavy machinery cast shadows on tunnels of eerie, glistening water droplets that will soon become a high-risk graveyard.
“Ongalo will be the world’s first used nuclear fuel storage facility,” it explainsAFP Geologist Johanna Hansen is research and development coordinator at Onkalow.
The project is to be settled on Olkiluto, a lush island in the Gulf of Bothnia off Finland’s west coast – already home to Europe’s largest nuclear reactor. The conundrum of the fate of nuclear waste comes to an end.
Enough to cover all 5 Finnish nuclear reactors
Is there a miracle solution here? Low carbon, nuclear power is an effective source of clean energy to help control global warming. But his Long term storage affecting nuclear power programs around the world.
Indeed, the considerable delays – about 250,000 years for the most toxic waste – are the most difficult challenges required for radiation to fall to safe levels.
is over 400 meters deepOnkalo Depot is designed to build total houses 6,500 tonnes of uraniumThat’s enough to offset the amount of fuel spent by Finland’s five nuclear reactors over their lifetime.
The World Atomic Energy Agency estimates that about 400,000 tons of spent fuel have been extracted from the reactors so far, most of which has been stored in temporary storage.
What is the deadline?
Spent uranium, according to a settlement agreed by Onkalo operator Posiva with Swedish authorities Enclosed in thick copper sheaths and buried in the rock, before the tunnel was closed with a large wedge-shaped plug made of reinforced steel.
Work began on Onkalo (“empty” in Finnish). In 2004 And the final tests will be held in early 2024.
Once we confirm that we are ready, we can move into the operational phase in the mid-2020s.
A controversial project
However, there are some experts Suspicious. Researchers at the Swedish Polytechnic (KTH) continued to question Device protectionCiting the risks of copper corrosion leading to a leak.
Fears were allayed by project leaders. For the Finnish Nuclear Safety Authority, Onkalo meets the requirements.
Professor Alison Macfarlane of the University of British Columbia believes that no plan is “100% certain,” but that Onkalo is “certainly the most thoroughly researched solution.”
Alternatively, he says, “leaving the waste on the surface indefinitely” is a more dangerous assumption.
And in France?
Sites for other potential terrestrial facilities have been selected in Sweden, France and Switzerland. A decision is expected soon in Canada as well.
“This Consensus solution for the world’s nuclear waste problem,” Macfarlane said.
But many projects, such as those in Chigio in Bury, in the east of France, are coming up against opposition. “Remaining challenges Political in nature », Alison Macfarlane in brief.
Source: © 2023 AFP
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