Delay in Finnish repository licence review

26 June 2014

The Finnish nuclear regulator needs another six months to review Posiva's application to build a waste encapsulation plant and a final repository at Olkiluoto.

Olkiluoto repository
The Olkiluoto repository will consist of a network of disposal tunnels up to 450 metres below ground (Image: Posiva)

Posiva - a waste management joint venture of utilities Fortum and TVO - submitted its application to the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Stuk) in December 2012. At that time, Stuk expected to complete its review of the application by the end of this month.

Posiva has not yet provided all the information required, Stuk said. New safety requirements published last December have also delayed the review.

Assuming it completes its review in December, Stuk said it would submit its report to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy in January. The ministry will then forward the licence application and related materials for consideration by the government.

The application also covers facilities for the final disposal of waste created during the operation and decommissioning of the encapsulation plant. The site for Posiva's repository at Eurajoki near Olkiluoto was selected in 2000.

The encapsulation plant will encase used fuel assemblies in steel and copper canisters ready to be embedded in clay within the repository's network of tunnels. Built at a depth of 400-450 metres, the repository will dispose of 9000 tonnes of used fuel from the country's four existing reactors - Olkiluoto 1 and 2 and Loviisa 1 and 2 - as well as the first-of-a-kind EPR under construction at Olkiluoto 3 and the planned fourth unit at Olkiluoto.

Final disposal operations at Olkiluoto are expected to begin around 2020 and to last for some 100 years before the repository is sealed.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News