Environmental licensing of the Spent Fuel Repository this autumn
The main hearing on SKB’s application for a licence to build a system for management and disposal of Sweden’s spent nuclear fuel begins in September.
According to the preliminary schedule sent out by the Land and Environment Court at Nacka District Court, the main hearing will take place during five weeks in the autumn, starting in September. In the preliminary schedule, the main hearing begins on Tuesday, September 5th. The first two weeks will be in Stockholm, followed by one week in Oskarshamn and Östhammar Municipality before the hearing is concluded with a final week in Stockholm. The court will decide the final schedule for the hearing during the summer.
– We look forward to the review of the final disposal project in the Land and Environment Court. The environmental licensing is an important step in our task to manage the spent nuclear fuel in Sweden safely over the long term, says Eva Halldén, Managing Director of SKB.
After the hearing, the court withdraws to write its statement. No judgement will be given in this case, but the court will present a statement to the Government on whether the activities are permissible under the Environmental Code.
The Government grants a licence
SKB’s application is also being reviewed under the Nuclear Activities Act. The review is done by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, which has stated that it will submit its statement to the Government at about the same time as the Land and Environment Court submits its statement. Thereafter, the municipalities concerned, Östhammar and Oskarshamn, will submit their views to the Government, which takes the final decision on whether to grant a licence for the project.
SKB submitted the original application in 2011. Since then, it has been reviewed by various experts and supplemented according to the referral procedure of the court.
Research and technology development
The extensive application, covering more than 10,000 pages, is based on the research and technology development conducted by SKB for nearly 40 years, in parallel with the siting process. SKB carried out feasibility studies in eight municipalities and site investigations in two municipalities before Forsmark was chosen as a suitable site in 2009.
SKB’s method for final disposal of the spent nuclear fuel is called KBS-3 and is based on three protective barriers: copper canisters, bentonite clay and the Swedish bedrock. The licensing process includes a final repository in Forsmark, an encapsulation plant next to the interim storage facility in Oskarshamn (Clink), and transportation.