NWS hosts Sky News visit to world’s first GDF in Finland

NWS hosts Sky News visit to world’s first GDF in Finland


Nuclear Waste Services’ (NWS) Chief Policy Advisor Bruce Cairns and Sky News joined Finland’s Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) developer Posiva on a visit to the first underground repository for disposing of nuclear waste.

Nestled 400 metres below ground in Southwest Finland, the ONKALO facility is the world’s first underground repository for spent nuclear waste.

Host from the Finnish GDF developer, Posiva, conducting tour of ONKALO facility

Chief Policy Advisor, Bruce Cairns, recently paid a visit to the site alongside Thomas Moore, Science and Medical Correspondent at Sky News, to see the progress being made.

Inside the world’s first nuclear waste tomb in Finland

Talking to Sky News Bruce outlined the importance of delivering a similar facility in the UK .

“We have to take action to make sure this is managed responsibly, not just for now, but for the long-term. We have 70 years’ worth of waste in the UK, it’s already accumulated from energy production, defence, industrial processes and it’s not going anywhere unless we do something with it.”

Geological disposal is internationally recognised as a safe and secure way to dispose of higher-activity radioactive waste. Other countries, such as Sweden, France, Canada, Switzerland, and Japan – as well as Finland – are also making great strides in developing their own GDF programmes.

A GDF involves a series of highly engineered vaults and tunnels located up to 1,000 metres deep in a suitable rock formation. Combined with man-made barriers, this protects the environment and keeps the waste safe and secure while the radioactivity decays naturally to safe levels.

Four communities are already engaged in a dialogue with NWS on whether hosting a Geological Disposal Facility would work for them. Community Partnerships have formed in Mid Copeland, South Copeland, and Allerdale in Cumbria, and Theddlethorpe in Lincolnshire.

This nationwide process is based on community consent and includes detailed investigations over a number of years to ensure a GDF can be constructed safely and securely.

To learn more about GDF and for more information about progress, please read the GDF Annual Report.


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Jorge Oliveira

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