SKB cleared to continue waste facility operations

24 September 2020

Swedish radioactive waste management company Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB) have been cleared to continue operating radioactive waste facilities in Sweden until 2028 following an assessment by the country's nuclear regulator.

SKB mostly meets the Nuclear Activities Act's requirements for ensuring the safe operation of the central interim storage facility for used nuclear fuel (Clab) at Oskarshamn and the SFR repository for low and intermediate-level waste at Forsmark, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) said on 21 September. SKB can therefore continue to operate the facilities until the next overall assessment in 2028.

Those licensed to own or operate a nuclear facility in Sweden must by law make an overall assessment of the facility's radiation safety at least every 10 years. In September 2018, SKB submitted its overall assessments for Clab and SFR. SSM has reviewed the assessments to determine whether the requirements of the Nuclear Activities Act are met and whether SKB has the ability to maintain and increase radiation safety in the facilities until the next overall assessment.

SSM said SKB mainly complies with section 10a of the Nuclear Activities Act and states that SKB undertakes appropriate activities with the aim of maintaining and increasing radiation safety. Its action plan has been integrated into day-to-day operations, said SSM investigator Leif Jonasson.

However, there are shortcomings, most of which concern the report and are typically that it is not detailed enough or that conclusions are not sufficiently substantiated. However, SSM  Authority assesses that the shortcomings have little significance for radiation safety, but that they should be remedied before the next overall assessment.

“In the overall assessment, SKB has made a thorough review of its current operations at Clab and SFR and how it intends to handle the challenges it sees during the coming ten-year period,” said Jonasson. SSM therefore assesses that SKB has achieved the purpose of an overall assessment.


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