The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SRSA) said on 24 October that it had reviewed and recommended the approval SKB’s application for an extension and continued operation of the SFR repository for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste.
The review found that SKB’s construction and operation of the extension can be carried out in a way that is radiologically safe, and that the method of final disposal chosen by SKB is appropriate for achieving post-closure radiation safety. SRSA has sent its formal findings to the government of Sweden.
In December 2014, SKB submitted a licence application to the Swedish regulator for permission to extend the pre-existing repository, the SFR facility, located near the Forsmark nuclear plant. The purpose of the extension is to have capacity to receive waste from dismantled and demolished nuclear plants. The application seeks permission to operate the existing repository in parallel with the extension, as an integrated facility for final disposal of low and intermediate level radioactive waste.
“Our review of SKB’s application shows that construction and operation of the extension can be carried out in a way that is radiologically safe, and that the chosen method for final disposal of low and intermediate level radioactive waste is appropriate for achieving post-closure radiation safety, said SRSA section head Ansi Gerhardsson. “Considering the fact that the licence application encompasses not only a facility that has been in operation for over 30 years, over which the Authority exercises regulatory supervision, but also a new extension, this has given rise to interesting matters and questions during the review process.”
However, SRSA has proposed certain conditions to be attached to Government licences for SKB’s facilities. For example, these conditions involve limitation of the radioactive material allowed for disposal in the repository, and that SKB, following a government decision, would not be permitted to begin construction, trial operation, routine operation, or closure of the repository until more detailed and updated safety analysis reports have been examined and approved by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.