Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) said the Regional Administrative Agency of Southern Finland has issued an environmental permit for the construction of a soil disposal facility for very low-level waste. In addition to the environmental permit, the project requires an operating permit and a building permit from the Radiation Protection Centre. The final investment is planned to start in 2025.

Very low-level waste generated at the Olkiluoto NPP and possible other activities will be placed in the facility. Such waste includes disposable protective equipment, cleaning supplies, packaging materials and decommissioned equipment and construction materials. Currently a significant part of the waste placed in the Olkiluoto waste cavern (VLJ – voimalaitosjäteluolaan) is very low-level waste. Construction of the soil disposal facility will reduce the need for further excavation of the VLJ facilities.

Small amounts of very low-level waste generated in other parts of Finland, such as waste generated during research in industry, hospitals and universities, may also be disposed of in the new facility. The size of the soil disposal facility is planned to be 80 by 110 metres, with a height of about 12 metres. The use, emission and impact monitoring of the soil disposal facility is planned.

Image: Aerial view of the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant (courtesy of TVO)