Research and Development
SKB has been undertaking research and development for 40 years. Today these activities can be divided into three categories: scientific research, technological development and social research.
The aim of our scientific research is to understand how conditions in the different final repositories for radioactive waste alter over time and what long-term impact this can have on safety. SKB’s research programme therefore covers many disciplines, such as geology, ecology and climate.
Technological development comprises continuous work on the construction, manufacture, testing and further development of all the technological components of the final repository system for both spent fuel and low and intermediate level waste. Much of the research and development work takes place in our three laboratories at Oskarshamn: the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, the Bentonite Laboratory and the Canister Laboratory. They provide opportunities for full-scale tests and demonstrations of techniques in realistic conditions.
Since 2004 SKB has also been funding research linked to the social sciences and humanities. These focus on how information about the Spent Fuel Repository can be handed down to future generations.
SKB accounts for its plans for continued research and technological developments every third year in a special RD&D programme. The most recent one was submitted to the Radiation Safety Authority in September 2016 and described what was planned up until 2022. It will be available in English in December.