The Battelle Film Club offers a free showing of Into Eternity: A Film for the Future next Thursday night, Oct. 18. Considering that Hanford is next door and one or more people you know work out there, you should plan on catching this one.
Please note the movie begins at 7 p.m. instead of the usual 8 p.m.
The disposal of nuclear waste is of particular interest in Tri-Cities. Director/writer Michael Madsen is interested, too. In his fascinating documentary, Madsen interviews scientists and politicians in Finland about Onkalo. It's a nuclear waste depository. The goal of the Onkalo facility is to bury at least some of the more than 200,000 tons of waste that exists.
What makes Onkalo unique is how deep the waste will be buried. Geologists consider the rock underneath the area to be exceptionally stable. They expect the rock will survive the 100,000-year life span of the nuclear waste placed there. The scientists and legislators of Finland decided unchangeable rock is far superior to the planet's unstable surface.
The surface, Madsen points out, also is prone to violence and war — which can erupt at any time.
Madsen's documentary puzzles through other conundrums. Do you mark the sealed opening? How do you communicate the danger of the radioactive waste to people living on the planet's surface 10,000 years from now? And Onkalo takes in just a fraction of the waste that now is mostly stored in water-filled tanks. What do we do with the rest of the stuff? Leaving it in the water isn't an answer. Neither is blasting it into space.
Into Eternity is a must-see. I admit that it is one of the most intriguing and well-done documentaries I've seen in quite awhile. And, hey! It's free. What's not to like?
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars
Director: Michael Madsen
Not rated. Probably PG-13 for mature themes. It plays at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Battelle Auditorium.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.