Norwegian Nuclear Decommissioning (NND – Norsk Nukleær Dekommisjonering) has applied for a licence to own and operate three nuclear facilities in Halden, Kjeller and Aurskog-Høland. The 7,525-page application was delivered directly to the Directorate for Radiation Protection & Nuclear Safety (DSA). The Halden and Kjeller facilities, currently owned by the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), were closed down in 2018-19 and are awaiting decommissioning. 

They include the nuclear fuel and materials testing reactor at Halden and the JEEP-II neutron scattering facility at Kjeller. The third facility is a combined storage and disposal facility for low and intermediate-level radioactive waste (KLDRA) in Himdalen in Aurskog/Høland operated by IFE and owned by Statsbygg.

NND previously submitted two partial applications in June and December 2021. It normally takes two years to process a licence application. Following processing of the application and a public consultation, DSA will make recommendations to the government, which will take the final decision on granting a licence to NND. The application must show that 25 general requirements are met to ensure overall safety at the facilities.

“The state through NND has assumed responsibility for the clean-up of Norwegian nuclear facilities, said NND Director Pål Mikkelsen, adding that applying for the licence to take over the facilities from IFE was “an important milestone. The application combines the expertise and systems of IFE with NND's organisation and management system. NND has worked intensively on the application for more than two years together with IFE, external experts and with support from DSA, 

NND, an agency under the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Fisheries, was officially formed in February 2018 and is based in Halden. It is responsible for decommissioning of the research reactors and other related nuclear infrastructure and for safe handling, storage and disposal of nuclear waste in Norway, as well as the decommissioning of nuclear infrastructure and offers independent advice to the government. NND is still in development but once the agency is fully operational and has obtained the necessary licences from DSA it will be the single point of contact for handling Norway’s nuclear waste.

Image: Jan Helge Kaiser, department director, nuclear safety and source management at DSA; NND's director, Pål Mikkelsen; Per Strand, director, DSA; and NND's security chief Nina Ramberg outside the Directorate for Radiation Protection & Nuclear Safety building (courtesy of Hallfrid Simonsen/DSA)