Swedish regulator approves extended intermediate storage for used fuel

13 February 2024

Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM - Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten) has approved radioactive waste management company Svensk Kärnbränslehantering’s (SKB’s) renewed safety report for the intermediate storage of used nuclear fuel in Oskarshamn. This allows test operation of the expanded facility to begin.

SKB operates the Central intermediate storage for used nuclear fuel (Clab) in Oskarshamn where used nuclear fuel from the Swedish reactors is stored in anticipation of the final repository for the fuel being completed. SKB has applied to increase the amount of used fuel that can be stored in Clab from 8,000 tonnes to 11,000 tonnes, which the Government and the Land and Environmental Court have authorised. The government's decision contained conditions for approvals of security reports in three stages.

The process has now reached the second stage, that SKB applied SSM for approval of a renewed safety report. “The decision means that SKB can now start storing more than 8,000 tonnes, which was the previous limit,” said Elisabet Höge, investigator at SSM. “Normally, the plant receives in the order of 150 tonnes of used nuclear fuel a year.”

The next step is for SKB to submit a supplementary safety report describing the experience of the test operation and the SSM will then decide whether the plant can switch to routine operation.

Image: Interim storage facility for used fuel at Oskarshamn (courtesy of SKB)

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