The Swedish municipality of Östhammar on 27 April approved Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB's (SKB's) application to expand its final repository for short-lived radioactive waste, SFR, in Forsmark.

SFR stores short-lived operational waste from NPPs as well as radioactive waste from healthcare, research and other industries. The plant has been in operation since 1988 and needs to be expanded in order to handle decommissioning waste from closed NPPs.

“Östhammar's decision is an important step enabling us to take care of the waste that arises when several Swedish nuclear power reactors are dismantled and demolished, said SKB CEO Johan Dasht. In October 2019, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) approved the application in accordance with the Nuclear Activities Act, and the following November, the Land and Environmental Court approved it under the Environmental Code. A government decision is still required.

In the event of a positive government decision, the matter goes back to SSM and the court for further handling and negotiation before construction can begin. SSM will then monitor each new step for the plant, before pilot operation, regular operation and closure. With the expansion, SFR will have a storage capacity of approximately 180,000 cubic metres. It will take about six years to construct.