SSM recommends approval of nuclear power industry’s research and development programme

The nuclear power industry’s research and development programme for management of waste from nuclear power plants fulfils statutory requirements. Moreover, SKB and the licensees of nuclear power reactors have complied with the requirements imposed by the Swedish Government in its decision on the 2013 programme for research and development. These are the conclusions drawn by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority according to its statement of views submitted to the Government of Sweden.

Every third year, owners of Swedish nuclear power plants are required to report on their programme for research and development (RD&D programme) covering safe management of waste from operations and dismantling of nuclear power plants. In September 2016, the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB), on behalf of the nuclear power plant owners, submitted the RD&D Programme 2016 to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SSM.

The Authority has reviewed the programme and obtained comments from interested parties and stakeholders, for instance municipal and other public authorities, research institutes and environmental organisations. The review is now completed, and a statement of SSM's views, containing conclusions and recommendations, has been submitted to the Swedish Government.

"We recommend that the Government approve the programme. It fulfils statutory requirements and our assessment is that they have complied with the requirements imposed by the Swedish Government in the decision on the RD&D Programme 2013 concerning a programme with improved clarity and improved structure, and consulting with the Authority in matters relating to development of decommissioning plans and dismantling studies," says Bengt Hedberg, analyst at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.

For more information, please contact: Bengt Hedberg, analyst at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, via the Authority's duty press officer on Tel. +46 8 799 40 20.

Facts in brief

Under the Act on Nuclear Activities (1984:3), a party licensed to own or operate a nuclear power reactor is required to conduct the research and development work needed in order to manage residual products generated by the activity, including decommissioning.

As part of this work, the Act on Nuclear Activities stipulates that the owners of Swedish nuclear power plants must submit a programme for research and development (the RD&D programme) every third year to the Government of Sweden for review and evaluation.

The programme must contain an overview of all measures that may be necessary and specify in detail the measures that are intended to be implemented within at least six years. The mandate of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority is to review the programme in preparation for Government decision-making.