The SFR facility with the Forsmark nuclear power station in the background. Courtesy SKB. The Swedish government has approved nuclear fuel management company SKB’s application to extend the final repository for short-lived radioactive waste (SFR) at Forsmark.

The facility needs to be extended to accommodate decommissioning waste from Swedens’s six nuclear power plants, including three units at the nearby Formsark station.

The SFR began operations in 1988. It has a final disposal capacity of about 63,000 cubic metres of waste, but SKB applied in December 2014 to triple that to about 200,000 cubic metres.

SKB managing director Johan Dasht said the decision was important and creates long-term conditions for decommissioning waste to be disposed of in a safe and secure manner,"

SKB’s application to extend the SFR was approved by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) and the land and environment court in 2019. In April 2021, Östhammar municipality approved the extension. Following the government’s decision today, the application will be referred back to SSM and the court.

“We are now looking forward to SSM and the court setting out the conditions for an extension so that we can get started. We expect the actual extension to take about six years to complete,” said Mr Dasht.

The SFR is part of SKB’s final repository system, which is one of Sweden’s most extensive environmental protection projects. It is used for short-lived operational waste from Swedish nuclear power plants and radioactive waste from medical care, industry and research.

SKB has also submitted an application to the government for a licence to build a final repository for spent nuclear fuel at Forsmark and an encapsulation plant in Oskarshamn. The government has said it will make a decision on the final repository on 27 January.

The government announced in August its decision to approve an expansion to the existing Clab interim repository for used fuel while continuing to consider SKB’s application for the encapsulation plant and final repository.

Date: Thursday, 23 December 2021
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