The municipality of Östhammar has formally approved investigations to determine whether the site would be a suitable location for a final spent fuel repository.
In November last year the Swedish government gave the go-ahead for in-depth studies at three proposed sites — Oskarshamn, Tierp and Östhammar — provided local approval was given. Decisions from the other two municipalities are expected by February.
Peter Nygards, president of SKB — the Swedish nuclear fuel and waste management company, said: "It is essential to gain in-depth knowledge about the bedrock in order to know if the site is really safe. A site investigation does not mean that the municipality will host a deep repository, this is a question to be dealt with later on." The detailed geological investigations are due to start early this year, and should take five to six years to complete. SKB hopes to submit a final site proposal in 2007.