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Friday's papers: A dark horse, the living dead and nuclear news

Can Finland repurpose its nuclear waste instead of burying it and what's life like when you're pronounced dead?

More than 30 percent of people in Finland said they believe FIIA director Mika Aaltola, a political outsider, would make a good president. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

Speculation around Finland's 2024 presidential election is heating up, with media outlets increasingly reporting on potential contenders for the job.

An Ilta-Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun) survey finds that Bank of Finland Governor Olli Rehn (Centre) and Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) are still top of mind when it comes to replacing President Sauli Niinistö whose second term is coming to an end.

The poll's surprise news, however, was the appearance of Mika Aaltola on the list of favourites for president. Aaltola, who heads the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, has featured prominently in domestic media outlets since Russia invaded Ukraine.

"I can't recall anything similar happening before—a true dark horse. Aaltola's rating is incredible for someone not linked to party politics," Juho Rahkonen of pollster Taloustutkimus told IS.

Aaltola (32 percent) was ranked in the survey behind Rehn (49 percent), Haavisto (45 percent), Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP), 35 percent, and ex-PM Alexander Stubb (NCP), 34 percent.

Alive but declared dead

What's it like to deal with your own death? Readers of Hufvudstadsbladet (siirryt toiseen palveluun) have flocked to a story about Sipoo-based retiree Rita Tackman who, after a call to her bank, found out why her debit card kept being declined—the authorities had registered her as deceased.

The Swedish-language daily explains that a human error linked to Rita's visit to a local hospital set in motion a chain of events that has taken months to clear up.

"It has been a very difficult time. I’ve waited in numerous phone queues, filled in lots of paperwork and personally visited different agencies," she told HBL.

A 28,000-year battery?

Finland's deep geological repository for spent nuclear fuel, Onkalo, has made global headlines over the years as a way to deal with hazardous, radioactive waste.

But are there other solutions? Business daily Talouselämä (siirryt toiseen palveluun) reports of scientists recycling nuclear waste to create radioactive diamond batteries.

California-based startup NDB is planning to release a nano-diamond battery next year, according to TE, noting that the firm calculates that the batteries could last up to 28,000 years.