Initial assessment of Swedish spent nuclear fuel repository released

Swedish nuclear regulators released their initial review of a proposed spent nuclear fuel repository.
The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority said its preliminary assessment of the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co. (SKB)’s application for a repository relate not only to nuclear safety and radiation protection during construction and operation of the facility, but also its assumed status when waste placement has been completed and the repository has been closed and sealed. The repository will be located at Forsmark.
Regulators said SKB demonstrated that there are prospects for meeting standards for nuclear safety and radiation protection in connection with rock excavation, handling of disposal canisters in the underground facility and emplacement of the waste. However, more investigation is needed in determining how the repository will comply with radiation safety requirements over at least 100,000 years.
“As far as the initial status of the repository after closure is concerned, that is, the starting point for analysis of long-term radiological safety, our assessment is also cautiously positive,” said Ansi Gerhardsson, Head of Section at the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.
Certain issues must be resolved in respect to the repository’s assumed status at closure, mostly relating to the manufacture of copper canisters.
More preliminary outcomes will be published throughout 2015. The Authority is expected to give an opinion of SKB’s license application to the land and environment court in 2016. In 2017, a final assessment will be given to the Swedish government.
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