Illustration of the SFR showing the existing underground facility in white and the expansion in blue.

SKB signs collaboration agreement with Skanska for expansion of SFR

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 construction of six new waste vaults in Forsmark that will extend 240–275 metres into the bedrock.

The final repository for short-lived radioactive waste (SFR) is where waste, such as filters, tools and clothing used in the Swedish nuclear power plants, and materials from medical care, industry and research, is disposed of. The SFR will also contain radioactive waste from the eventual decommissioning and dismantling of the nuclear power plants. This includes reactor components, concrete and other building materials.

Jessica Palmqvist, , acting CEO SKB. Photo Mikael Wallerstedt

– We are very pleased in our choice of Skanska as our collaborative partner for expanding SFR. After many years of planning and environmental reviews, we have now taken a major step forward in realising an expanded final repository for short-lived radioactive waste. Now, we are awaiting approval from the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority to start excavations, says Jessica Palmqvist, acting CEO at SKB.

The SFR currently holds approximately 63,000 cubic metres of short-lived low-level and intermediate-level operational waste. An additional 117,000 cubic metres is needed to provide sufficient space for operational and decommissioning waste from Sweden’s nuclear power plants. The intention is to construct the extension at a depth of 120 to 140 metres, level with the lowest section of the current final repository for short-lived radioactive waste.

– At Skanska, we are very pleased to join SKB in this collaborative project to expand the SFR. We are also humbled by the responsibility that comes with the extra high quality and safety requirements of this project. It’s an incredibly exciting long-term construction project, and we look forward to being a part of it,” says Lars Lindberg, Vice President of Roads and Facilities at Skanska Sverige AB.

The expansion of the final repository for short-lived radioactive waste (SFR) will be tested at various stages. The Land and Environment Court granted its licence at the end of the year, and in March 2023 SKB submitted its application to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SSM, for constructing and operating the expanded final repository for short-lived radioactive waste. Once the SSM approval is obtained, SKB can start excavations at Stora Asphällan in Forsmark. The planned start of construction is autumn 2024.

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