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Into Eternity - Movie Review - 2010

Future Nuclear Waste Land

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


Possible doomsday scenarios are frequently played out in narrative features, but the one that's presented in Into Eternity is for real.

Can Humankind Safely Dispose of Nuclear Waste?

The scenario doesn't have to do with nuclear warfare bringing civilization to an end in a nuclear inferno. It's about the disposal of everyday nuclear waste, the kind that comes from fueling nuclear power plants, and nuclear submarines and that sort of thing. Plus disposal of nuclear material from armaments that have been decommissioned in an attempt to prevent the advent of a nuclear inferno.

According to Into Eternity, the large amounts of nuclear waste created in nuclear power plants is placed in interim storage spaces that are vulnerable to natural disasters, man-made disasters, and to societal changes. The long-term plan, seen as the most solid and safest nuclear waste disposal scheme, is to transfer the radioactive materials from these temporary storage spaces into a permanent vault that's currently under construction in Finland. The world's first permanent nuclear waste repository is a vast system of underground tunnels that are being blasted our of solid rock deep beneath the Earth's surface. Once finished (supposedly by 2012), filled and sealed, the nuclear vault must remain unopened and undisturbed for at least 100,000 years, which is how long nuclear waste remains hazardous.

Release of An Evil Curse

There are questions about whether the vault will remain undisturbed and intact for that length of time, and how people living today will be able to indicate the our descendants that the vault contains dangerous waste and should not be opened. In other words, how do we let future archaeologists know that this is a site that if opened and plundered as were the Egyptian pyramids would release more than ghosts of mummies. In the case of Onkalo, as the nuclear vault is called, the evil curse that will be released is very real.

The film takes you to the serene Finnish countryside, and deep down into the bedrock where workers blast solid rock and remove the rubble to create Onkalo. The excavation site is surreal, and frightening.

Even more frightening are the comments of knowledgeable scientists and engineers who are obviously trying to act in the public interest, to save future humans from possible nuclear disaster, but are troubled by the weight of their responsibilities and stymied in trying to find a solution that they truly believe in.

As you watch Into Eternity all the images you've absorbed while watching those nuclear doomsday narrative features come crowding into your head and, with your increased understanding about the dangers of accumulated nuclear waste, they seem all the more horrific. The potential Onkalo meltdown doesn't require a war. It just requires a zealous archaeologist!

This film is about your legacy. If you want to see the future, you want to see this film.

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Film Details:

  • Title: Into Eternity
  • Director: Michael Madsen
  • Release Date: February 2, 2010 (limited)
  • Running Time: 75 mins.
  • Parents Advisory: Advisory for content
  • Location: Finalnd
  • Language: English
  • Production Company: Magic Hour Films and others
  • Distribution Company: International Film Circuit
  • Official Website
  • Trailer

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