29 January 2016 |

The application for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel has been announced as complete

On January 29, 2016, the Land and Environmental Court, MMD, and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SSM, announced that the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company’s, SKB’s, license application for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel in Forsmark can be seen as complete enough to review on its merits. The nuclear regulator, SSM, reviews the application according to the Nuclear Activities Act and the court, MMD, according to the Environmental Code. The decision means that the legal process now formally enters a phase of an in-depth review of issues in the licence application. Both SSM and MMD have given the public a few months to comment on the application. The deadline for comments set by MMD is 30 March 2016 and the deadline set by SSM is 30 April 2016. At the end of the review SSM and MMD each provides an opinion on the license application to the Swedish government that tales the final decision to go ahead or not.

On March 16, 2011, the Swedish nuclear industry, via its waste company the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company, SKB, submitted a licence application for a permit to build a disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel in Forsmark, Östhammar municipality, to the Land and Environmental Court, MMD, and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SSM. The period from then until 29 January 2016 was needed for SSM and MMD to determine if the application was of adequate quality to be judged as complete enough to be reviewed on its merits. MMD examines the application according to the Environmental Code and SSM according to the Nuclear Activities Act. During this extended “phase for completeness” SSM made a large number of requests to the nuclear waste company to supplement the application with further information, e.g. regarding the risk of copper corroding in oxygen free water. MMD made no such request, but asked the waste company to respond to requests for supplemental information from other actors, such as affected authorities, the Swedish Council for Nuclear Waste, environmental organizations and the nuclear municipalities. These requests for supplementary information were, however, largely ignored by the company.

MMD and SSM formally announced the nuclear industry’s licence application as complete enough on 29 January 2016. The examination is now formally enter a phase of an in-depth review of issues in the licence application. Now the public have a few months to comment on the application. The deadline for comments set by MMD is 30 March 2016 and the deadline set by SSM is 30 April 2016. The following step is for MMD and SSM to make a respective statement of opinion with recommendations to the Government. According to MMD’s schedule this will be made some time between February and June 2017. SSM intends to make its statement about the same time. After considering the statements by MMD and SSM, the Government will reject or approve the license application. The time schedule is at risk to be delayed, as previous experience has shown.

The Swedish NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review, MKG, together with the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, SSNC, are now working with a common submission of in-depth comments on issues to MMD and SSM. The environmental organizations will highlight the issues of methodology and site selection in the application, and as well request the alternative methodology of deep boreholes to be considered. MKG and SSNC will continue to demand the application to be rejected. Below is a draft version in English of a report with the organisations’ requests for complementary work.

Links:

Draft version in English of a report with the MKG and SSNC requests for complementary work >> 


Here is more information in Swedish about the announcement that has been published on MKG’s website:

Press release on MKG’s website on the announcement of the application for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel, 160129 >>

The application is formally announce as being complete by MMD, 160129 >> 

MMD’s announcement >>

The application is formally announce as being complete by SSM, 160129 >>

SSM’s announcement >>

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