In the 1950s and 60s, Canada and the United States started their nuclear energy programs with great optimism and excitement for the future. Nuclear energy was touted to be the “new science” that would bring us into a brave new world of technological innovation. Sixty years later nu- clear energy has not delivered these promises. While it certainly continues to be an important piece of the industrial economy, many people feel the risk and responsibility of dealing with nuclear energy is simply not worth it. Most importantly, our society has not come to terms with dealing with the massive amounts of high-level and low-level nuclear waste that has been created throughout the past half century. What do you do with the most toxic substance that the earth has to give? Where do you put it? How do you warn future societies not to go near it?
Currently, Canada has over 2 million high-level nuclear fuel bundles and thousands of metric tons of low-level radioactive waste that needs to be isolated and contained for upwards of 100,000 years. How will each community respond to this challenge? Will they welcome it with open arms or try to stop it at all costs?
Nuclear Hope chronicles the spiritual exploration that each community experiences as they decide whether or not to host one of the largest engineering project in the history of mankind. Some residents argue that this project will revitalize their community and bring jobs and infra- structure that will ensure that their community is recession-proof. Others contend that the project is simply not worth the risk and could potentially contaminate the wider environment.
Nuclear Hope does not attempt to pick a side or provide a solution to the issue of nuclear waste. Instead, it attempts to understand the complexity and scope of this project by providing enough information for the viewer to draw their own conclusions and decide what path our society needs to take to deal with this waste for the next 100,000 years.