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SKB turns in application for permit to build a final repository in Forsmark

Yesterday, March 16th, Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company, SKB, applied for a permit to build a final repository for spent nuclear fuel and a facility where the fuel will be encapsulated before being transported to the final repository.

SKB’s application will now be reviewed by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority and the Environmental Court. The application will subsequently be presented for political decision in the relevant municipalities and by the government.

In the submitted application documentation, SKB is applying for permission to build an encapsulation facility in Oskarshamn Municipality and a final repository for spent nuclear fuel at Forsmark in Östhammar Municipality.

“The solution we are presenting for review satisfies the societal requirement stipulating that human beings and the environment must be protected from spent nuclear fuel, both now and in the future. Over three decades of research have resulted in a safe method that is ready to be implemented. We also have a carefully selected location that provides the requisite safety requirements for a final repository,” says Claes Thegerström, President of SKB.

The encapsulation facility will be built next to the Clab interim storage facility, and the final repository will be built at a depth of almost 500 metres in the bedrock at Forsmark. With these facilities in place, the system for managing spent nuclear fuel from Swedish nuclear power plants will be complete.

“We discern clear support for our standpoint that the final repository should be built now rather than being postponed to the future. There is also strong scientific support that building the repository in bedrock is the appropriate strategy. Bedrock offers much better long-term protection than would fuel storage close to the surface for an indefinite period of time,” says Claes Thegerström.

SKB’s research and technology development will continue in parallel with the permit process that has now been initiated. Doing so ensures that nuclear waste management will continue to be accomplished with the best available know-how and technology.

From a global perspective, Sweden is one of the countries that has progressed the furthest in terms of geological final repository of nuclear fuel. The Parliament of Finland has resolved in principle to build a final repository using the same technical solution as the Swedish one.
“Sweden is at the forefront thanks to a clear division of roles among responsible industries, reviewing authorities and policymakers. This division has laid the foundation for long-term development work supported by a democratic decision-making process. We are now looking forward to our application being reviewed, and we will do everything in our power to facilitate the reviewers’ important task,” concludes Claes Thegerström.

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