Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Swedish Government approves SKB’s final repository for spent nuclear fuel

The Swedish Government decided to allow SKB to build a final repository system for spent nuclear fuel in Forsmark in Östhammar Municipality and an encapsulation plant in Oskarshamn. The storage facility will keep the country’s spent and highly radioactive nuclear fuel safe for the next 100,000 years.

“It is a historical decision that enables SKB to dispose of the nuclear waste that our generation has produced. This decision is met with open arms. We are now looking forward to implementing Sweden’s largest environmental protection project,” says SKB’s CEO Johan Dasht.

SKB has researched and developed technology for the final repository for more than 40 years in collaboration with experts from universities, research institutes, and higher education institutions in Sweden and worldwide. The final repository method was reviewed and assessed by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority and the Land and Environment Court to ensure it satisfies the most stringent safety requirements both for man and the environment.

When fully developed, sometime in the 2080s, the repository will comprise around 60 km of tunnels with space for more than 6,000 canisters of spent fuel. Below ground, the repository covers three to four square kilometers. It is placed at a depth of 500 meters.

“The final repository provides long-term solutions for electricity generation and is, thereby, our contribution to enabling fossil-free living within one generation,” says Johan Dasht.

In addition to a safe and secure final repository solution, the project will also create about 1,500 jobs. The next step in the licensing process is for the Land and Environment Court to establish conditions for the facilities. The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority will also decide on permit conditions under the Nuclear Activities Act. Only when all licenses are in place can construction start, after which time it will take about ten years to build the spent fuel repository.