Swedish Radiation Safety Authority approves SKB’s supplementary information concerning repository

In its capacity as an official government referral body, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has performed a review and delivered its opinion on the supplementary material submitted by Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB) to the Government as part of matters relating to a licensing review under the Act on Nuclear Activities, in addition to consideration of permissibility under the Environmental Code. The results from this regulatory review reinforce the Authority’s previous standpoints concerning licensing for a spent nuclear fuel repository.

For the applications, the Swedish Government has referred Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB’s (i.e. SKB) supplementary information to other bodies for consideration and comment, in accordance with the Act on Nuclear Activities and Environmental Code in the context of a repository for spent nuclear fuel. The supplementary information encompasses the additional material deemed necessary by the Land and Environment Court to enable the Government to make a decision on the question of permissibility under the Environmental Code, mainly in terms of different corrosion processes’ possible impact on the disposal canister to contain the nuclear fuel. The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has undertaken a regulatory review of the supplementary information and issued a pronouncement to the Government of Sweden.

In the assessment of the Authority, SKB has well substantiated and strengthened the conclusions drawn in its previous documentation, and has incorporated new information that provides a more in-depth understanding of different corrosion processes and their significance in a repository system. SKB has credibly demonstrated that the investigated processes have a small impact on the repository system’s protective capability.

“Consequently, we are unable to identify any rationale for changing our previous standpoints. Our assessment remains the same: That SKB’s proposed location is suitable and that the method of final disposal meets the strict requirements imposed for long-term nuclear safety and radiation protection, and protection of human health and the environment,” says Director Johan Anderberg. Mr Anderberg heads the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority’s Department of Radioactive Materials.

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority emphasises in its formal findings submitted to the Government that the Authority’s review of SKB’s applications is based on stringent regulatory requirements on limiting risk. In practice, this means that a repository’s impact on human health is not allowed to exceed the equivalent of one-hundredth of natural background radiation to which people in Sweden are normally exposed.

For more information, please contact: The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority’s duty press officer on Tel. +46 8 799 40 20.