Our owners finance our expenditure
The nuclear power companies pay a surcharge of SEK 0.04 for every kilowatt hour produced to a government fund, the Nuclear Waste Fund. This money is used to deal with spent nuclear fuel and to pay for decommissioning the Swedish nuclear power plants. SKB’s operations are mainly paid for with money from this fund.
According to Swedish law it is the owners of the nuclear power plants that have to pay for all the costs for dealing with spent nuclear fuel and its final disposal. They also have to pay the costs of decommissioning nuclear power plants and other nuclear installations.
Since the mid-1970s the nuclear power companies have been allocating funds to cover these costs. These funds are administered by the Nuclear Waste Fund.
SKB makes regular calculations of the future costs for dealing with nuclear waste. These are submitted to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority every three years. After they have been reviewed the Authority then proposes the surcharge for the next few years to the Government, which decides on the amount to be charged.
Historically the surcharge has varied between SEK 0.01 and SEK 0.02 per kilowatt hour supplied by the nuclear power plants. The Government has decided, however, that for the period 2015–2017 the surcharge is to be SEK 0.04.
The Nuclear Waste Fund mainly invests its money in Government Bonds or “Covered Bonds”. A smaller amount is deposited in an interest bearing account with the Swedish National Debt Office.
SEK 43 billion has been used
According to the latest calculations (Plan 2016) the total costs of the Swedish nuclear power programme, from start to finish, will amount to about SEK 141 billion.
Of this amount about SEK 43 billion has already been used to build and operate the existing plants and for research and development on the Swedish nuclear waste system and its construction. The remaining SEK 98 billion relates to future costs from 2018 and onwards.
At the end of 2016 the Nuclear Waste Fund administered SEK 60 billion. But the fund is continually being augmented, both through the continued surcharge payments as well as the yield on its investments. The amount that will have to be paid into the fund in the future will of course depend on future returns on its investments.