SKB submits application to build Swedish radwaste final repository

21 March 2011

Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company SKB has submitted an application for a permit to build a final repository for spent nuclear fuel and a facility for fuel encapsulation. SKB’s application, submitted March 16, will now be reviewed by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority and the Environmental Court. The application will subsequently be presented for political decision in the relevant municipalities and by the government.

SKB is applying for permission to build an encapsulation facility in Oskarshamn Municipality and a final repository for spent nuclear fuel at Forsmark in Östhammar Municipality.

Claes Thegerström, President of SKB said in a statement,

“The solution we are presenting for review satisfies the societal requirement stipulating that human beings and the environment must be protected from spent nuclear fuel, both now and in the future. Over three decades of research have resulted in a safe method that is ready to be implemented. We also have a carefully selected location that provides the requisite safety requirements for a final repository.”

The encapsulation facility will be built next to the Clab interim storage facility, and the final repository will be built at a depth of almost 500 metres in the bedrock at Forsmark. These facilities would complete the system for managing spent nuclear fuel from Swedish nuclear power plants.

“We discern clear support for our standpoint that the final repository should be built now rather than being postponed to the future. There is also strong scientific support that building the repository in bedrock is the appropriate strategy. Bedrock offers much better long-term protection than would fuel storage close to the surface for an indefinite period of time,” Claes Thegerström said.

SKB’s will continue with its research and technology development to ensure that nuclear waste management will use the best available know-how and technology.

SKB says that Sweden is one of the countries that has made most progress in establishing a geological final repository of nuclear fuel. Finland has resolved in principle to build a final repository using the same technical solution as the Swedish one.

Claes Thegerström says, “Sweden is at the forefront thanks to a clear division of roles among responsible industries, reviewing authorities and policymakers. This division has laid the foundation for long-term development work supported by a democratic decision-making process. We are now looking forward to our application being reviewed, and we will do everything in our power to facilitate the reviewers’ important task.”


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