Swedish nuclear waste management company Svensk Karnbranslehantering (SKB) announced that it had received two critical approvals for the extension of the Final Repository for Short-Lived Radioactive Waste. A recommendation of approval to extend the repository in Forsmark was granted by the Land and Environment Court. In addition, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority also approved the extension.
“The Court’s answer shows that our final repository concept is capable of meeting the Swedish Environmental Code’s very high requirements for both long-term safety and consideration of the high natural values in the surroundings,” said SKB Managing Director Eva Hallden.
The next step, the company said, is for the government to make the final approval based on statements from the Court and the regulator.
“We have now passed two important milestones on the road to being able to extend SFR. Our hope is that these two clear statements will also facilitate our continued process for a final license,” Hallden said.
The application was processed in a two-week hearing at the Land and Environment Court this autumn. SFR has been in operation in Forsmark since 1988 and has to be extended to create capacity for final disposal of low-level and intermediate-level operational and decommissioning waste from the domestic nuclear power plants.
The SFR underground repository is comprised of four 160-meters long rock vaults, which includes a 50-meter high concrete silo where the most highly radioactive waste is stored. The total capacity for the repository is 63,000 cubic meters of waste, according to Nuclear Engineering International. Engineers estimate the facility, which is now 60 percent full, could include six new vaults averaging 260 meters in length. The application to extend the facility, submitted in December 2014, calls for an additional 170,000 cubic meters of storage room, effectively tripling the size of the facility.
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