1 June 2012 |

Great inadequacies in the license application – the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and MKG demand extensive completions

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation [SSNC] and the Swedish NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review [MKG] have submitted a joint statement concerning the power industry’s proposed repository for spent nuclear fuel in the community of Forsmark. An extensive review of the license application has revealed a number of issues. There appear to be no scientific evidence supporting the notion of a safe repository. Moreover, the industry seems to have neglected the task of exploring alternative methods.

In March 2011, the Swedish power industry’s nuclear waste company SKB submitted a license application to build a final repository for spent nuclear fuel in Forsmark. Before the application can be put to trial, potential issues with the application must be rectified. Therefore, the Environmental Court and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority has referred the document for consideration to the relevant bodies. Any demands on completion are expected to be handed in today, on the first of June.

Together with MKG, SSNC has hired external experts in order to make a joint examination of the application. Staggering issues were found, which are described in an extensive statement submitted by the two organizations. It is the view of MKG and SSNC that more research is needed on the issue of the artificial barriers of copper and clay. The copper canister is supposed to maintain structural integrity for hundreds of thousands of years. However, MKG and SSNC claim that the integrity may be compromised within a thousand years.

For 20 years time, SSNC has argued for the power industry to investigate the alternative method of deep borehole disposal. Despite the fact that the nuclear power company is required by law to explore alternatives in an objective manner, the company has done little to accommodate this demand. In order to enable a fair comparison between the methods, the clearly inadequate account of deep borehole disposal made in the application must be complemented.

To summarize, SSNC concludes that the issues with the application are substantial and that rectifying them may take many years. Moreover, it is stated that if the demands are not met, the application may not be put trial and should in fact be rejected.

Below you will find a link to the statement in question.

 

Links:

Appendix 3. "Evaluation of permafrost depth simulations in SKB report TR-11-01", prof. em. Matti Saarnisto, maj 2012 >>

Appendix 5. "SKB's Assessment of Deep Borehole Disposal Compared to KBS-3", prof. em. Fergus Gibb, maj 2012 >>

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