MKG and member organisations to the government: Take advantage of the LOT experiment before a repository decision

On November 4 the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Swedish Friends of the Earth and MKG submitted a new legal brief to the Swedish government as part of the licensing review of the planned repository for spent nuclear fuel in Forsmark.

In the brief the organisations claim that it is possible to use more detailed copper corrosion results from the nuclear waste company SKB's LOT experiment in the Äspö hard rock laboratory (HRL) in order to decide whether copper is a suitable canister material. And that it should be done before the government takes a decision to allow construction of the repository.

In an answer to a referral from the government on 21 October, the Swedish Council for Nuclear waste said that new experiments are needed to investigate whether copper works as intended in a repository environment, but that this can be done after a government decision.

The organisations are of the understanding that the same knowledge as the council refers to can be obtained in 6-12 months before a decision, if the government first ensures that scientifically correct and detailed results are reported on copper corrosion on the most corroded surfaces on the two 20-year test packages that the nuclear waste company took up from the Äspö HRL in autumn 2019. Analysis that the company has so far refused to do, and that the organisations have already repeatedly emphasized should be a requirement from the government before a licence can be given.

After the analysis is done, likely showing severe corrosion including deep pitting corrosion, some new simplified LOT experimental packages can be tested in the Äspö HRL. The important detail to study is how fast oxygen is consumed in the packages. The results should be in 6-12. The details are described in more in the brief but if the copper corrosion on the new packages after the oxygen is consumed is much less than on the 20-year packages it is not possible, as the nuclear waste company and also the regulator SSM says, that the severe corrosion after 20 years has been caused by oxygen trapped in the packages from the beginning.

The organisations believe that the results from the two studies together can provide the government with a sufficient basis for an admissibility decision according to the Environmental. Which in all probability would be a no.

A news item on MKG Swedish website about the brief and with the brief in Swedish can be found here.

Previous news articles on MKG’s English web pages:

SSM and Swedish Council for Nuclear Waste responds to the government's referral on the copper canister – MKG promotes using LOT experiment results now, 211022 >>

Government decides on intermediate storage and continues to examine the copper canister, 210826 >>

Government sends out referral on separate decision on Clab-expansion, 210620 >>

MKG and member organisations to the government: Say no to the spent fuel repository or continue to investigate copper corrosion, 210611 >>

The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) approves unscientific LOT experiment copper corrosion results, 210311 >>

The regulator SSM expected to report LOT results to the government in the beginning of March – MKG has made several inputs, 210204 >>

Östhammars community tells the government they accept the repository for spent fuel, 201013 >>

SKB will publish LOT project results and SSM will do a quality control 200325 >>

MKG and its member organisations take the issue of the secret LOT retrieval to the government 200227 >>

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 >>