The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority reviews and assesses applications for geological repositories for nuclear waste. When assessing the long term safety of the repositories it is important to consider possible future developments of climate and climate-related processes. Especially the next glaciation is important for the review and assessment for the long term safety of the spent nuclear fuel repository since the presence of a thick ice sheet influences the groundwater composition, rock stresses, groundwater pressure, groundwater flow and the surface denudation. The surface denudation is dependent of the subglacial temperatures and the presence of subglacial meltwater. The Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB) use the Weichselian glaciation as an analog to future glaciations. Thus, increased understanding of the last ice age will give the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) better prerequisites to assess what impact of a future glaciation might have on a repository for spent nuclear fuel.
This report compiles research conducted between 2008 and 2015 with a primary focus on 2012-2014. The primary aim of the research was to improve our understanding of processes acting underneath an ice sheet, specifically during a deglaciation.