Swedish construction company Skanska has signed a collaboration agreement with waste management company Svensk Kärnbränsförhantering (SKB) for extension of the final repository for short-lived radioactive waste (SFR) in Forsmark. 

The SFR has been in operation since 1988. It is housed in rock chambers 50 metres below the bottom of the Baltic Sea. It stores operating waste from Swedish NPPs as well as waste from healthcare, research and other industry.

To enable final disposal of radioactive waste from the demolition of Swedish NPPs, the SFR needs to be expanded. The project's task is to expand the final repository with six new 255-275-metre-long mountain halls at a depth of 120-140 metres.

The SFR currently holds approximately 63,000 cubic metres of short-lived low- and medium-level operating waste. The project will add additional storage space of approximately 117,000 cubic metres divided into different mountain halls. The agreement covers a first phase of planning.

SKB acting CEO Jessica Palmqvist said: “After many years of planning and environmental tests, we have now taken a big step forward to realise an expanded SFR. We are now awaiting approval from the Radiation Safety Authority before we can start the excavation work. Lars Lindberg, Vice President of Roads & Construction at Skanska said it “is an incredibly exciting and long-term construction project, we look forward to being part of it”.

The expansion of the SFR is examined in several stages. The Land and Environmental Court gave its permission earlier this year, and in March 2023 SKB submitted an application for construction & operation of the expanded SFR to the Radiation Safety Authority, SSM. SKB must obtain SSM’s approval before rock work at Stora Asphällan in Forsmark can start. The planned start of construction is autumn 2024.