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SSM’s consultation response to the land and environmental court: SKB has the potential to fulfil repository safety requirements

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has assessed that the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB) has the potential to comply with the Authority’s nuclear safety and radiation protection requirements for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Consequently, the Authority recommends in its statement of findings to the land and environmental court that the repository system should be deemed a permissible activity according to the Swedish Environmental Code.

SKB has the potential to comply with the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority’s requirements for the spent fuel repository system. The Authority therefore recommends that the land and environmental court in its forthcoming judicial review deems the repository system to be a permissible activity.

"We assess that SKB, at this stage of the authorisation process, has adequately demonstrated that the repository can be safe over the long term from the perspective of nuclear safety and radiation protection," says Ansi Gerhardsson, head of section at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority bases its assessment on SKB having sufficiently demonstrated the following:

  • Rationale behind the choice of Forsmark as the preferred location for the repository
  • Rationale behind the method for final disposal and explanation of why it is preferable to other methods 
  • Capability to develop and operate the encapsulation and repository facilities in fulfilment of radiation safety requirements.

"The Authority carries out a stepwise authorisation process, which means that if the Swedish Government decides that a licence is to be granted, we will at each stage in the process examine whether SKB's repository fulfils our safety requirements," says Ms. Gerhardsson. "For future authorisation steps, SKB will need to carry out further development of its safety analysis report to demonstrate the repository’s radiological long-term safety."

 The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority's consultation response to the land and environmental court (Pdf, 205 Kb, opens in a new window)

For more information, please contact: Ansi Gerhardsson, Head of Section at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM), via the Authority’s duty press officer on Tel. +46 8 799 40 20.

SSM’s regulatory review of the repository application: facts in brief

  • Since March 2011, experts of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority have examined and considered an application submitted by SKB (Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company) for permission to construct a geological repository for spent nuclear fuel.
  • SKB has submitted licence applications for permission to construct the repository in Forsmark, located in Östhammar Municipality, in addition to an encapsulation facility adjacent to the central interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel (Clab) located in Oskarshamn Municipality.
  • In 2017, the Authority will submit its final assessment to the Government, which will take the final decision on possible permission to construct the repository.SKB’s licence applications are being reviewed by both the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority and the land and environmental court.
  • The nuclear power industry is responsible for the method and for funding of spent nuclear fuel management.

Facts about nuclear waste in Sweden

  • A nuclear power reactor generates approximately 20 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel per year.
  • Ten nuclear power reactors are in operation in Sweden, located at the sites of Ringhals, Forsmark and Oskarshamn. Two shut-down reactors are located at Barsebäck.
  • Around 6,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel is currently stored at Clab, the interim storage facility in Oskarshamn.


Last updated 2016-06-29