The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has approved on Thursday the construction of the repository for used nuclear fuel. Thus, the EU nation has guaranteed the safe and long-term storage of its nuclear waste in the vicinity of an existing nuclear power plant at Forsmark.
Forsmark, a small city located in about 140 km north of the capital city, picked for the place where Sweden will keep its nuclear waste. Under government’s plan, 6,000 parcels of some 12,000 tonnes of radioactive waste will be encased in copper and a natural clay and laid to rest below 500 meters of bedrock for more than 100,000 years.
Commenting on the governmental approval, minister for climate and the environment Annika Strandhall said this will be a secure-spent fuel repository that will provide safety for both the environment and people. “In addition, it provides long-term conditions for the Swedish electricity supply and Swedish jobs,” the official added.
The final repository will be constructed in 2023, although the decision is subject to scrutiny by Sweden’s land and environmental court and review by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority. The Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB) will be in charge of the construction.
Together with the construction of a nuclear waste encapsulation plant, the whole project will require an investment of about 19 billion Swedish kronor ($2 billion), and could take about 10 years to finish.
Sweden currently has six reactors in three nuclear power plants, supplying approximately one-third of the country’s need for electricity. Despite having nuclear power for 50 years, the problems of final disposal of the burned nuclear fuel remained unresolved.
Globally, there are more than 400 nuclear power plants in use in 38 countries, but no place has successfully begun to store highly active nuclear waste, CGTN reports.