On Thursday, the Swedish government approved the plans for where to store spent radioactive nuclear fuel. The warehouse will be located at a location in Forsmark, which is located approximately 130 kilometers north of Stockholm.
“We do this to take responsibility, both for the environment and people, but also for Sweden’s long-term electricity production and Swedish jobs,” said Minister of the Environment Annika Strandhall at a press conference.
The plan, called KBS-3, still needs to be approved by the environmental court. The plans are established by SKB, a company that belongs to the Swedish nuclear power industry.
How will the storage work
Sweden plans to bury the waste in the bedrock near Forsmark. It will use iron shells surrounded by copper pipes that are pushed into crystalline rock in a tunnel 500 meters underground.
After about 70 years, when the plants are full, they are closed with bentonite clay to keep water out and the plant is sealed.
The site will receive its first test deliveries in 2023 and be operational in 2025. However, local media say that the project may take longer to complete.
The radioactive waste will be stored underground in Forsmark, Sweden
At present, approximately 7,500 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel are stored in the interim storage facility in Oskarshamn on Sweden’s east coast.
“Our generation must take responsibility for nuclear waste. This is the result of 40 years of research and it will be safe for 100,000 years,” says Strandhall.
Sweden has three nuclear power plants, which have produced 8,000 tonnes of high-level radioactive waste since they began operating in the 1970s.
Nuclear waste has been a recurring problem for the world since the first nuclear reactors came into being in the 1950s. The International Atomic Energy Agency estimates that there are approximately 370,000 tonnes of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel in temporary storage around the world.
Many countries, including Germany, have not adopted long-term plans to deal with the remaining radioactive waste.
tg / sms (dpa, AP, Reuters)