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Sweden now faces years of nuclear reactor shutdowns and waste disposal problems

Sweden prepares for a decade of nuclear decommissioning, NS Energy, By Kristina Gillin  27 Feb 2020 ,

Sweden is preparing to dismantle and demolish six large power reactors on three sites over the coming years.

By the end of 2020, half of Sweden’s nuclear reactors will have been permanently shut down for decommissioning. The six large reactors are expected to undergo nuclear decommissioning in Sweden over the next decade.

Besides these, the Ågesta prototype reactor, a combined heat and power plant is about to commence dismantling.

Nuclear decommissioning at Sweden’s Barsebäck nuclear power plant

The twin units at Barsebäck,  a few miles across the straight from Denmark, ceased to generate power in 1999 and 2005, respectively.

After shutdown, all spent fuel was removed and shipped to Sweden’s central interim storage facility (Clab) in Oskarshamn. Major decontamination of systems was also done early. However, dismantling had to wait, due to a lack of facilities for storage or disposal of decommissioning waste………

Funding and nuclear waste disposal in Sweden

Owners of nuclear power plants in Sweden have a statutory duty to dispose of their wastes. They are also required to set aside funding for waste management and nuclear decommissioning in Sweden. The funding is held in the Nuclear Waste Fund, a segregated Swedish government fund.

To fulfil the obligations, they jointly own the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co (SKB). SKB’s scope covers disposal of most radioactive waste streams, interim storage of spent fuel and transportation between the various sites.

SKB is also responsible for compiling cost estimates for decommissioning and waste management every three years.

This to ensure that payments into the Nuclear Waste Fund are sufficient to cover future costs.

According to the 2019 estimates, the total cost of waste disposal, spent fuel storage and decommissioning is approximately SEK 147 billion (around €14 billion). Of this, about SEK 53 billion (around €5 billion) has been spent to date.

These figures include most of SKB’s scope but exclude the costs of near-surface disposal facilities for very low-level waste at Oskarshamn, Ringhals and Forsmark.

The majority of low- and intermediate-level waste from all Swedish reactors will be disposed of in SFR, a shallow geological repository for short-lived waste on the Forsmark nuclear site.

SFR has been in operation since 1988 but is currently licensed for operational waste only. To accommodate decommissioning waste, SKB plans to expand SFR’s capacity from 63,000 to 180,000 m3. An application for the expansion was submitted in 2014.

Pending regulatory approvals, construction of the new rock vaults will take place from 2023 to 2029. https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/news/nuclear-decommissioning-sweden/?fbclid=IwAR1me9D6hKLIPYP8Hp9tRS7Fgt6ksTbZ9t0Gvpo8IHCHgjIkeBqRnDgO79

March 2, 2020 - Posted by | decommission reactor, Sweden

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