Sweden proposes nuclear waste fee hike

21 October 2014

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has proposed almost doubling the fee that the Swedish nuclear industry must pay into the Nuclear Waste Fund during 2015. The fund is intended to cover future decommissioning and radioactive waste management expenditures in the country.

The current fee payable by owners of Swedish nuclear power plants is set at of 2.2 öre per kilowatt hour of nuclear power produced or around EUR 0.0022/kWh. SSM is proposing that from 2015 the rate is increased to 4.0 öre/kWh, or EUR 0.004/kWh.

"On the basis of the applicable legal frameworks, we have assessed that this level is necessary for ensuring financing of safe decommissioning and final disposal on the part of the Swedish nuclear power industry," said Annika Åström, an economist at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.

SSM said that the main rationale behind the proposed fee increase included rising projected costs reported by the industry for decommissioning and disposal, the fact that the future returns on the waste fund are expected to be low, and that total fees paid will be lower than the level projected at the time when the previous fee was proposed.

The authority has also suggested only setting the fee for the coming one-year period. It said that it would ask for updated calculations from SKB for the period 2016-2017. These new calculations would use a different methodology and will be based on data and input produced by the National Institute of Economic Research (KI).

In 2013, Sweden's ten nuclear reactors generated 63.7 TWh of electricity, close to 43% over the country's overall electricity production.

Photo: Nuclear fuel is deposited at SKB´s interim storage facility, also called Clab (Source: SKB)

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