The construction of the final repository for used nuclear fuel in Forsmark and the associated fuel encapsulation plant in Oskarshamn have finally been approved by the Swedish Government.
In March 2011, the radioactive waste management company Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB) submitted to the Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) applications to build Sweden's first nuclear fuel repository and an encapsulation plant, which will be integrated into the Clab interim storage facility as Oskarshamn.
SKB also applied to extend the storage capacity of Clab from the current 8,000 tonnes of fuel to 11,000 tonnes.
The encapsulation plant will be located in the municipality of Oskarshamn, and the repository at the Forsmark nuclear power plant in the municipality of Östharmmar. For its final decision, and according to the Swedish Environmental Code, the government consulted with both municipalities, which have the power to veto the application. Oskarshamn approved it in June 2018 and Östhammar in October 2020. In August 2021, the extension of the Clab facility was approved.
The depository will store 6,000 capsules with a total of 12,000 tonnes of radioactive waste at a depth of about 500 metres.
The new depository will store 6,000 capsules with a total of 12,000 tonnes of radioactive waste at a depth of about 500 meters
The swedish government confirmed that the applications meet the requirements of the Environmental Code and the Nuclear Activities Act and therefore allows the encapsulation plant and the final repository to be constructed. "The government supports the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority's expert assessment that the technology for the final repository is the best possible and that the method with the three barrier functions is safe and meets the requirements of the legislation, even in a very long time perspective," says the statement.
The decision has the condition that SSM shall carry out a continued step-by-step assessment, where future research and technology development will be part of the continued process.
The Swedish government considers that the technology for the final repository is the best possible and that the method with the three barrier functions is safe
"Now it will be full speed ahead to be ready to start building when all permits are in place," said Johan Hedlund, head of SKB's Project Department. "It t is now that we will complete our assignment to take care of the Swedish nuclear waste.", he added.
"It is irresponsible to leave nuclear waste in water basins year after year without a decision," said Annika Strandhäll, Minister of Climate and Environment. "We must not hand over the responsibility to our children and grandchildren. Our generation must take responsibility for our waste. Therefore, the government allows the next step in the review process. Everyone can feel secure that the process continues via the Land and Environmental Court and the step-by-step review under the responsibility of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority."
She added: "We and Finland are the first in the world to take responsibility for nuclear waste. This will be a safe final repository that provides security for both the environment and people. In addition, it provides long-term conditions for Swedish electricity supply and Swedish jobs."
It will be a safe final repository that provides security for both the environment and people
Source: World Nuclear News