Pronouncement on repository applications made to the Swedish Government

On 23 January 2018, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SSM, in its capacity as a preparatory authority, submitted its pronouncement to the Government regarding SKB's licence applications for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. SSM recommends approval of SKB's applications under the Act on Nuclear Activities for licences to construct a repository for spent nuclear fuel, located at Forsmark, Östhammar Municipality, in addition to an encapsulation facility located in Oskarshamn Municipality. The Swedish Government will take the decision on whether to grant the related licences.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) considers that SKB has demonstrated through its applications that the company has the potential to meet the requirements of the Act on Nuclear Activities concerning safe final disposal of spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants in Sweden.

SKB has demonstrated that the facilities and associated safety analysis reports (SARs) can be developed in accordance with the established procedure for a step-wise permitting process under the above-mentioned Act.

SSM has assessed that SKB has the potential and capability to produce updated SARs covering construction, operation and long-term nuclear safety and radiation protection. The SARs will in future steps need to be scrutinised and approved by the Authority if the respective licences are granted by the Swedish Government.

The Authority's recommendation for licence approval applies to the specific sites, as well as to the quantities and types of spent nuclear fuel that are specified in SKB's licence applications.

SSM's favourable judgment presupposes that SKB takes in account matters of significance for radiation safety during the construction phase of these facilities, and that the company takes into consideration the development needs identified by SSM in its scrutiny of the licence applications. SKB should address such matters during future work on detailed design, associated SARs, and operational limits and conditions for the facilities.

The Authority has also suggested certain conditions to be attached to Government licences for SKB's facilities. These require that the facilities should be constructed, taken into possession and operated as specified in SKB's applications, as well as that SKB should produce SARs for examination and approval by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority prior to construction commencing, before beginning test operation, and before a facility starts routine operation.