The licence application by Swedish radioactive waste management company Svensk Kärnbränslehantering (SKB) for an integrated system for the final disposal of used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste has been endorsed by Sweden’s Radiation Safety Authority (SSM). A final decision to licence the facilities will be made next year. SKB will be able to comply with nuclear safety and radiation protection requirements for a planned deep geologic repository for used nuclear fuel at Forsmark, SSM said in a statement to the land and environmental court.

SKB submitted the application for permission to build the Forsmark repository in 2011. The integrated facility includes the encapsulation plant and the existing Clab interim storage facility and is referred to in SKB’s application as Clink. SKB has since made both clarifications and additions to the applications. The company has also submitted an application to extend the storage capacity of the Clab facility from the current 8,000t of fuel to 11,000t

In November 2015, SKB announced that Söderviken, to the southeast of the Forsmark NPP, would be best suited for the repository. SSM said at the time that it was too early to draw any final conclusions and there were remaining issues for it to review and consider before submitting its formal opinion to the land and environment court.

The applications are now being reviewed by SSM and the Land & Environment Court in Stockholm. SSM is considering questions of nuclear safety and radiation at the facilities as laid down in the country’s Nuclear Activities Act. The review undertaken by the Land and Environment Court is based on the Environment Code. According to the latest statement, SSM is scheduled to issue its final opinion on the repository and encapsulation plant in 2017.

The final decision to authorize the project will be made by the government, which will base its decision on the assessments of both the SSM and the Land and Environment Court. However, before the government makes a final decision, it will consult with the municipalities of Oskarshamn and Östhammars, which have the power to veto the application. SKB is hoping construction and commissioning of the repository can be completed by 2028.