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Next step following government decision

The Government’s decision on SKB’s repository system is not the last step in the licensing process. The case will now return to the Land and Environment Court and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, SSM, which will set detailed conditions for the coming activities.

– We’re looking forward to moving on to the next step in the process. There are many details that will be reviewed and approved in the coming years, both in the court and in the step-by-step review conducted by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, says Peter Selting, Head of SKB’s Department of Safety, Quality and Environment.

Following the Government’s permissibility decision under the Environmental Code, the Land and Environment Court will impose conditions for the facilities. First, the terms and conditions are negotiated, after which they are established in a court ruling.

Similarly, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority will decide on licensing conditions under the Nuclear Activities Act and the Radiation Protection Act following the government decision.

SSM will also continue to test whether SKB fulfils the radiation safety requirements in each phase. For this, SKB will need to prepare new safety analysis reports prior to the start of construction, trial operation, regular operation, decommissioning and closure. These must gain SSM approval before the next step can be initiated.

During all phases of the facilities’ life cycle, the Authority will also conduct inspections on radiation safety during operation and on long-term safety aspects.

For each facility, it is also necessary that the municipality in question decide on a detailed development plan and building permit. With the amendments made to the Nuclear Activities Act in 2020, the state will assume responsibility for final repositories after final closure. It was also introduced into the Act that a special government licence is required for closure.

SKB’s construction projects will require substantial investments, especially in the municipalities and regions concerned. Altogether, SKB will be investing approximately SEK 19 billion, mainly in the construction sector, excavation and installations. Construction of the Spent Fuel Repository is estimated to take about ten years.

– Now it’s full speed ahead to prepare for building when all permits are in place. It will be a new, intense and exciting period in SKB’s history. Now we can complete our mission to take care of the Swedish nuclear waste, says Johan Hedlund, Head of SKB’s Project Department.

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