SWEDEN - Solution to Nuclear Waste

Arno Froese

In deep, astonishingly clear, blue-lit ponds some 40m (130ft) beneath the Swedish countryside, lies decades worth of high-level nuclear waste.

It is an oddly beautiful and rather disturbing sight. Row upon row of long metal containers, filled with used nuclear fuel from the country’s reactors, lie below the surface near Oskarshamn, on Sweden’s Baltic coast.

It is both highly lethal and entirely safe. 

Lethal, because this material is intensely radioactive; safe, because it sits beneath 8m of water, a very effective barrier against radiation.

The question of what to do with it afterwards, though, is one that many governments have been grappling with for years.

“Used fuel assemblies are intensely radioactive, and that radioactivity takes a long time to decay,” explains Prof Neil Hyatt, chief scientific adviser to the UK’s Nuclear Waste Services.

“After about 1,000 years, about 10% of the original radioactivity is left, and that will slowly decay away over about 100,000 years or so.”

Sweden has already reached its own conclusions. It plans to bury its waste in rock deep underground and leave it there for good.

This is a process known as geological disposal, and the country’s scientists have spent decades studying different ways in which it could be carried out.

Earlier this year the Swedish government approved plans for a real geological disposal facility (GDF), to be built at Forsmark, some 150km north of Stockholm.

The project is expected to cost about 19bn Swedish kroner (£1.5bn; $1.8bn), and create 1,500 jobs, though construction will take decades. Work on a similar scheme, across the Baltic Sea in Finland, began in 2015.

It is unlikely that a site for a UK GDF will be settled upon for at least another 15 years. But some experts question whether it should ever be built at all.

Among them is Dr Paul Dorfman, associate fellow of the science policy research unit at the University of Sussex and chair of the Nuclear Consulting Group.

“Geological disposal is a concept, not a reality,” he explains. “There is significant scientific uncertainty about whether the materials which would be used can survive the depredations of time.”

“Geological disposal is in fact, unfortunately, a nuclear fig leaf.”

-www.bbc.com, 30 August 2022

Arno's Commentary

Experts in the field come to different conclusions; the reason being, nuclear energy is relatively new. Research on Google regarding “which country made the first nuclear power plant” results in: “On June 27, 1954, the world’s first nuclear power station to generate electricity for a power grid, the Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant, commenced operations in Obninsk, in the Soviet Union.”

While scientists in many parts of the world were working on the discovery of splitting the atom to use for weapons of war, Albert Einstein made this statement: “I made one great mistake in my life, when I signed a letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made.” This Jewish genius contributed by laying the foundation for scientific knowledge with his discovery of relativity. Yet all of this is relatively new; no information, no science, no discovery going back 500, 1000, or 3000 years. Thus, the question: will Sweden succeed? The answer at this point in time seems to be no, because there is no knowledge of what will happen 200, 300, or 500 years from now.

It is always good to know that for the Christian, this world is not our home. The distinct difference between us and the rest of the world is revealed in 1 John 5:19: “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

Read more from this author

ContactAbout UsPrivacy and Safety