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Finland to build permanent nuclear waste depository

Finland has announced it will build the first-ever permanent storage facility for nuclear waste. The facilities will be built underground and will be able to store waste for thousands of years.

Finland announces plans to build the world's first underground repository for nuclear waste, which would be able to store up to 6,500 tons of uranium for some 100,000 years.

The Finnish government gave the green light to the Posiva Oy waste management group to construct the new facility in western Finland. The repository is intended to run about 450 meters (490 yards) below the surface and will cost around 3.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion).

First facility of its kind

The storage process would involve depositing the waste in copper containers and then sealing them underground with bentonite clay. There are 270,000 tons of nuclear waste stockpiled around the world - with no place to permanently store them. Nuclear material can remain toxic for thousands of years.

Posiva Oy said that Sweden was also working on creating a similar facility but has not come as close to completing it.

blc/ss (Reuters, AFP)

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