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Start / Nuclear power

Our work to enhance safety

Our role is to impose requirements for nuclear safety and radiation protection and to conduct follow-ups to ensure that those operating nuclear facilities fulfil the requirements and take their responsibility when it comes to radiation safety. Those who operate nuclear facilities always have the full responsibility to ensure that they are safe and that personnel and the environment are protected against radiation.

Generally, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has the following areas of responsibility in terms of activities both inside and in the surroundings of nuclear facilities:

  • To impose nuclear safety and radiation protection requirements on those operating nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities – from planning and construction to operation and decommissioning
  • To conduct follow-ups to ensure that those carrying out nuclear activities comply with the relevant regulations and rules applied in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection. Those who operate facilities are always responsible for their nuclear safety and radiation protection – the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority exercises regulatory supervision to ensure that these facilities are in compliance with the applicable legislation, regulations and rules
  • To process licence applications and examine nuclear power plants’ power uprating in steps
  • To represent Sweden in international cooperation fora regarding nuclear safety and radiation protection in and around nuclear facilities
  • To initiate and support research that develops knowledge and improves skills concerning nuclear safety and radiation protection at nuclear facilities
  • To have a role as part of Sweden's nuclear emergency preparedness

Our mandate has been granted to us by the Swedish Government and the Swedish parliament and, ultimately, by the people of Sweden. The Government and the Swedish parliament - the Riksdag - determine the orientation of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority’s work and set its budget. Our operations are financed through charges paid by the facilities for regulatory supervision, licences, authorisation and research.

We write safety regulations

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority issues its own nuclear safety and radiation protection regulations belonging to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority Regulatory Code, ‘SSMFS’. These regulations must be complied with by all nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities in Sweden. 

These regulations are based on the Swedish Radiation Protection Act and the Act on Nuclear Activities, as well as on international conventions and agreements. They are also based on the experience we gain as we inspect and review the safety of facilities, and based on international safety standards and the research in which we are involved or monitor within nuclear safety.  

We also write the general advice, or guidelines, appended to the safety regulations. Their aim is to make it easier for those operating the nuclear facilities to understand and comply with the legislation and regulations. 

We perform inspections, reviews and follow-ups

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority performs inspections, reviews and follow-ups of nuclear safety and radiation protection at nuclear facilities. We also review nuclear safety and radiation protection regarding shipments of radioactive substances and management of spent nuclear fuel and waste. We perform reviews to ensure that the facilities comply with the requirements imposed on various aspects of nuclear safety and radiation protection: nuclear safety and radiation protection of personnel working at the facilities and of the environment, in addition to physical protection against (for example) sabotage and attacks. We also monitor compliance with requirements imposed to ensure that nuclear fuel and other fissionable material are neither being diverted nor falling into the wrong hands. We work together with several other authorities in charge of related areas of responsibility, for instance the Swedish Work Environment Authority, the Swedish Chemicals Agency, the Swedish Board of Fisheries and the facilities’ respective county administrative boards. 

Read more about our tasks

We review and consider applications for power uprates

When a nuclear power plant has plans for a reactor power uprate, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority reviews the application for authorisation submitted by the licensee. The Authority subsequently submits a separate statement of its views to the Government and a separate one to the environmental court. When the Government and the court have taken a decision concerning authorisation, we conduct a step-wise review process to examine fulfilment of licence conditions. The same procedures apply when a stakeholder submits an application for construction of a new nuclear facility.

 Read more about our licensing reviews

Our international cooperation

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority participates actively in international cooperation to promote nuclear safety, radiation protection and nuclear non-proliferation. This helps us benefit from other countries’ knowledge and experience while at the same time sharing our own.  

The Authority is an active member of several international organisations, such as the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, and OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency, the NEA. We also work together with many of our sister authorities in other countries.

 Read more about our international work

We develop new knowledge

We conduct our own investigations and provide funding for extensive research and development work. We give research assignments to external scientists, analysts and developers. We also participate in large-scale international research projects, for example in the European Union and OECD. 

It is crucial for us to be involved in nuclear research so that we can maintain the high level of professional skills we need to fulfil our role as an expert authority. The objective of the research that we initiate and support includes its helping us to develop our own supervision.

 Read more about our research 

We are prepared for emergencies

The emergency organisation of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority is prepared around the clock if an accident should occur at a nuclear facility, or while transporting radioactive material, or for other accidents involving radiation. Our role involves providing mainly county administrative boards with advice, such as the action they can take to protect the population and also what consequences an accident might lead to. If a nuclear power accident takes place abroad, we will monitor the situation so that we can provide advice and recommendations to other authorities, for example the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and keep the general public and media informed about the situation at hand and its consequences.

 Read more about our emergency preparedness


Last updated 2017-08-02