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Consultation response to the land and environmental court: Considerable need for supplements to SKB’s repository application

There is a need for supplements to the repository application submitted by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company, or SKB. This was the conclusion stated in the consultation response submitted today by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority to the land and environmental court. At the same time, the Authority has requested that SKB supplement its application in several areas.

The land and environmental court at Nacka district court has requested a consultation response from the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority on any potential need for supplements to the repository application submitted by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company, or SKB. The Authority has consequently conducted an overall review in order to assess the need for supplementary information. Apart from its delivering an opinion to this court, the Authority has sent requests concerning the same supplementary information to SKB.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority is of the view that SKB’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) needs to be supplemented in several areas. In particular, the account of the methods that are alternatives to the KBS-3 method applied for by SKB needs to be expanded on in depth on the basis of the Swedish Environmental Code’s provisions concerning conservation of natural resources.
 
“We also perceive a need for supplementary information for the parts of the application relating to the repository’s long-term safety and protection of human health and the environment,” says government specialist Björn Dverstorp. “Some supplements may require further research by SKB, mainly related to the copper canisters’ long-term integrity. We also want to see more clear-cut plans for SKB’s demonstration of how the technology for disposing of the canisters underground in the spent nuclear fuel repository will give the standard assumed by the company in its licence application.”

As far as concerns the part of SKB’s application pertaining to an encapsulation facility, where the spent nuclear fuel is to be encapsulated in copper canisters (i.e. the Clink facility), the need for supplements is considerable and there are deficiencies when it comes to the application’s traceability and clarity. In addition, SKB has in several instances referred to old documents, standards, rules, legislation and regulations. A request for supplementary information in this area was sent to SKB on 24 October.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has requested that SKB submit a time schedule and strategy for the application’s supplementary work by 30 November 2012. The Authority is continuing its technical review work for the parts of the application where sufficient documentation has been provided.

Read more

Deficiencies in SKB’s application for an encapsulation facility (news item from 25 October)

Background

The Authority has mainly assessed the need for supplements to the applications from the perspective of radiation safety; in other words, meaning radiation protection, nuclear safety, physical protection and nuclear non-proliferation. This assessment has been made based on the provisions of the Act on Nuclear Activities (1984:3) and the Radiation Protection Act (1988:220), in addition to the parts of the Swedish Environmental Code (1998:808) that are to be applied in connection with licensing reviews under the Act on Nuclear Activities (Chapters 2 and 6, also Chapter 5, Section 3 of the Environmental Code).

For more information, please contact: Björn Dverstorp, Government Specialist, Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, on Tel. +46 8 799 42 15.


Last updated 2012-10-29