European Spallation Source (ESS)

European Spallation Source (ESS) is a centre for research that is undergoing construction in Lund, Sweden, by European Spallation Source ERIC, a European consortium. The licence application for the ESS facility was submitted to the Authority in 2012 and is undergoing review. Taking place in several steps, this review will be ongoing until the ESS facility has been completed and can begin routine operation.

At this facility, European Spallation Source plans to build a neutron source for the purpose of studying materials at molecular and atomic levels, enabling applications in materials research in a multitude of diverse fields such as medicine, biology, chemistry, physics and engineering.

The task of the Authority

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority is examining whether the ESS facility meets the requirements imposed by the following:

  • The Radiation Protection Act with the appurtenant ordinance
  • The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority’s regulations
  • Over 200 particular conditions

European Spallation Source ERIC has the task of ensuring that the facility meets all the above-mentioned requirements.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority started its review process with a comprehensive review of the ESS consortium’s licence application for an activity involving radiation, which resulted in a first licence in 2014. Apart from this first level of approval, the consortium needs to apply for permission for these activities:

  • installation 
  • test operation
  • routine operation
  • decommissioning

In 2017, the Authority performed a licensing review for installation and granted the European Spallation Source ERIC permission to install the accelerator with the connected klystron building and beam target building. In order for permission for installation to be granted as far as concerns the waste building and neutron scattering system, the consortium needs to further develop its underlying documentation. Respective applications for permission to begin test operation and routine operation constitute subsequent aspects of the Authority’s stepwise licensing review.  

History

3 January 2012: ESS AB submitted the first part of its application for construction and operation of the ESS facility in Lund. In March that same year, the licence application was supplemented. The application was examined by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.

12 June 2014: The Land and Environment Court in Växjö granted permission to ESS AB under the Environmental Code to construct the ESS facility, with the exception of activities involving radiation. Here, the Court requested additional investigations. 

17 July 2014: A decision was made by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority on the basis of the Radiation Protection Act to grant ESS AB permission to begin construction of the ESS facility. Both the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority and the Land and Environment Court have imposed terms and conditions that must be met before activities involving radiation will be permitted at this facility.

1 July 2015: The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority issued a decision to revise previously imposed licence conditions applying to ESS AB. The revised conditions replace Appendices 1 to 3 belonging to the Authority’s previous licensing decision.

17 September 2015: The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority issued a decision on transferring a licence, including particular conditions for the ESS facility in Lund (revised 1 July 2015), from ESS AB to the established consortium, European Spallation Source ERIC, as of 1 October 2015.

23 October 2015: A decision was made by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority to revise conditions, applicable to Chapter 2 on physical protection, contained in the particular conditions imposed for the ESS facility in Lund (revised 1 July 2015).

3 May 2016: European Spallation Source sought permission for installation and limited trial operation of the accelerator in the ESS facility. 

30 June 2017: The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority granted the European Spallation Source ERIC permission to install the accelerator with the connected klystron building and beam target building. In order for permission for installation to be granted as far as concerns the waste building and neutron scattering system, the consortium needs to develop its underlying documentation. Such licence excludes measures meaning that ionising radiation is generated and excludes production of radioactive material at the ESS facility.