MKG and its member organisations take the issue of the secret LOT retrieval to the government

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, the Friends of the Earth Sweden and the MKG have submitted a new statement to the government in its licensing review process the for spent nuclear fuel repository in Forsmark. This is after the organisations have made the assessment that further dialogue with the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) regarding the retrieval of the LOT experiment in the Äspö laboratory will not lead to anything constructive. In the statement, the organisations argue that it is important that a thorough analysis that the copper corrosion in the newly retrieved 20-year experimental packages in the LOT experiment be part of the basis in the government's admissibility review of the repository. A copy of the statement has been sent to SSM, the Swedish Council for Nuclear Waste and Östhammar Municipality.

During the autumn of 2019 and beginning of 2020 MKG had a dialogue through written correspondence with the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority SSM. The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Friends of the Earth and MKG have continuously kept the government informed about the exchange of letters and the importance of having the copper corrosion in the newly retrieved 20-year LOT experimental packages analysed. 

SSM has so far chosen to ignore the organisations’ arguments. The organisations have therefore chosen to speak directly to the government on the matter. A copy of the statement has been sent to SSM, the Swedish Council for Nuclear Waste and Östhammar Municipality.

The organisations summarize the current situation as follows. The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and MKG have followed the question of how copper can function as canister material in an oxygen-free final repository environment since 2007. For the organisations it has become more and more obvious that copper will not function well as canister material in the planned spent nuclear fuel repository project. This analysis is also supported by well-established and prominent corrosion science experts. When there is now an obvious opportunity for the nuclear waste company SKB, and also apparently for SSM, to show that MKG and its member organisations - and the researchers - are wrong, it must be used.

Since this issue obviously has a very large public interest, the organisations encourages the government to ensure that the results of an analysis of all copper surfaces in the LOT packages become part of the government's basis for the upcoming decision for the permissibility according to the Environmental Code of the proposed spent nuclear fuel repository. The Government's handling of the question of the use of the available results from this long-term test of the reliability of the KBS method may prove to be decisive for the admissibility decision. It can also be decisive for how the future will describe and judge how the present government handled the final repository issue.

The organisations also point out that the ongoing review according to the Nuclear Technology Act of the nuclear power industry's research program Fud-2019 gives the government legal opportunities to act in parallel with the ongoing environmental review of the nuclear fuel repository.

The associations conclude by emphasizing how important it is that the results of the new LOT retrieval are made available to the government, in order for a sound basis be available before a permissibility decision according to the Environmental Code.

The statement to the government can be found as a PDF on MKG:s Swedish web page.


See also the following news articles on MKG:s English pages:

SKB secretly retrieves experimental packages that can decide the future of the spent fuel repository 191024 >>

MKG and member organisations send a statement to the government on SKB's complementary copper information 190930 >>

SKB sends complementary information on copper corrosion to the government 190404 >>

The government gives SKB the opportunity to comment on the opinions from the court and regulator 180601 >>

The Swedish Environmental Court’s no to the final repository for spent nuclear fuel – a victory for the environmental movement and the science 180123 >>