This text is older than 6 years old and could contain inactive information.

Further documentation will provide clearer answers regarding the copper canister

Almost all parts of the application are approved, but the Land and Environment Court requests more documentation on the copper canister. Allan Hedin is a safety analyst at SKB and leads the work of preparing the supplementary documentation.

– We plan to be ready during this year, he says.

The court lists five different corrosion phenomena that need to be investigated further. It includes pitting corrosion, stress corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement, and the effect of radiation on these forms of corrosion.

Allan Hedin is a safety analyst at SKB. Photo: Gabriel Liljevall.

– These issues are not new and we have been working with them for several years. For some of them, further work is in progress for the safety analysis report that will be submitted to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority in the next step, says Allan Hedin.

– The material for most of what the court requests in its opinion is ready or planned to be ready in 2018. Some minor studies may be added. It is mostly a question of additional laboratory studies and calculation analyses.

Stepwise licensing process versus here and now

SKB’s application for the Spent Fuel Repository is reviewed under two different legislations with different review procedures. In the licensing under the Environmental Code, the court says yes or no based on the documentation that is available here and now. Under the Nuclear Activities Act, there is a stepwise licensing process, where SKB needs to apply for a licence from the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority to start new steps in the repository programme, for example construction of the repository. In each step, the licensing process is based on an updated safety analysis.

The issues where the court now calls for more documentation were included in the material presented in the main hearing last autumn and SKB then provided their arguments in those parts. SKB’s opinion is that the different corrosion phenomena will not damage the copper canisters in a way that could affect long-term safety.

– We made that assessment before the main hearing in the Land and Environment Court and we stand firm in our opinion also in light of what some of the other parties argued in the hearing.

– When we left the main hearing, we thought that we had presented our arguments in these issues in a way that should have been sufficient for the court, but obviously we were not able to provide full answers in all parts.

Supplementary work

Work is now in progress with the aim to have the supplementary documentation ready during this year. After providing its opinion, the court has handed over the review of the case to the Government, where it is further processed at the Ministry of the Environment and Energy. SKB has not yet received a request from the Government to provide supplementary documentation, but we assume in our planning that we will receive such a request.

– Therefore, we will conclude the studies that we think needs to be included and prepare documentation on the individual issues and their combined significance for long-term safety. Our report will target a hypothetical reviewer with solid expert knowledge of both corrosion and safety analysis. We believe that a thorough factual review of our documentation is necessary to settle the issue credibly.


International conference on repositories at Äspö
SKB is hosting a gathering of 50 nationalities to develop guidelines on how work can be undertaken at a global level on research and development of geological repositories for radioactive waste. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is part of the United Nations, is organising the con…

Published: 28 June 2024

High level of confidence and continued strong support for SKB’s facilities
Confidence in SKB is high and support for future final repositories remains strong. This is shown by Novus’ annual opinion survey in the municipalities of Oskarshamn and Östhammar. In spring 2024, SKB commissioned the research company Novus to conduct opinion surveys in the two municipalities where …

Published: 14 June 2024

Green light for SKB’s research programme
The Government has approved SKB’s latest programme for research, development and demonstration, RD&D 2022. Every three years, SKB presents a comprehensive research programme for the management and disposal of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. The latest version was submitted to the Swedi…

Published: 10 January 2024

SKB signs collaboration agreement with Skanska for expansion of SFR
Illustration of the SFR showing the existing underground facility in white and the expansion in blue. SKB has signed a collaboration agreement with Skanska for expanding the existing final repository for short-lived radioactive waste (SFR) in Forsmark. The project involves the planning and construct…

Published: 21 August 2023

Stefan Engdahl new CEO of SKB
Stefan Engdahl has been appointed new CEO of SKB, the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company. He joins the company from the Swedish Transport Administration, where he is currently Executive Director Market and Planning.

Published: 18 August 2023

Published: 28 February 2018