Radioactive waste is generated in activities where radioactive substances are used. The largest amount is generated in Swedish nuclear power plants. Some of the radioactive waste comes from other activities involving radiation, such as healthcare, research and industrial operations. Radioactive waste is generated, for example, when end-of-life fire detectors have to be disposed of, in accumulations in purification filters in the process industry and in older consumer products. The radioactive waste has to be handled in such a way that people and the environment are protected against radiation.
The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority produces regulations and monitors compliance with them in the handling and storage of radioactive waste. We are also responsible for reviewing the Swedish nuclear industry’s final repository programme. In 2018, we endorsed Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB’s (SKB) application to build a system for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. In 2019, we endorsed SKB’s application for an extension to the current final repository for short-lived radioactive waste (SFR). On 22 December 2021, the Swedish Government decided to allow continued and expanded operations at SFR. On 27 January 2022, the Government decided to grant SKB a licence under the Swedish Act on Nuclear Activities to construct, possess and operate a facility for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel.