Press releases: Energy
Nuclear waste management investigation group submits an interim report to Minister Häkämies
The group investigating nuclear power
companies’ cooperation in nuclear waste management submitted an interim report
on the progress of its work to Jyri
Häkämies, Minister of Economic Affairs, on 27 June 2012.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy appointed the working group in March to steer nuclear power companies’ joint investigation of the alternatives available for final disposal of nuclear fuel. The work is due for completion by the end of the year.
By 2016, Fennovoima must present either an environmental impact assessment programme of its own final disposal facility for spent fuel, or an agreement regarding nuclear waste-related cooperation with the current nuclear waste management custodians, to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
The task of the working group is to collect existing material for comparison of alternatives, to perform preliminary comparison of the final disposal alternatives if necessary, and to give recommendations for further work. Information regarding building two separate facilities and the current state and expansion of the planned facilities is required in order to compare final disposal alternatives.
The exact capacity in Olkiluoto for spent nuclear fuel final disposal will take decades to become clear
For the purposes of the investigation, Posiva has provided the working group with key information on the final disposal facility planned in Olkiluoto. On the basis of this information, the working group states that it can neither be proven nor ruled out whether more than 12,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel might be placed in final disposal in the Olkiluoto bedrock section. It will take decades before the amount of spent nuclear fuel that can be placed in final disposal in Olkiluoto can be specified, and more precise information on the quality of the bedrock will only become available in surveys during the excavation stage of the final disposal tunnels. Therefore, it is not certain whether there is room in Olkiluoto even for the planned 12,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel.
According to the working group, extending the Olkiluoto final disposal facility to accommodate Fennovoima’s nuclear waste (some 3,000 tonnes of uranium) would require a derogation from Posiva’s current research and operational principles. Possible surveys regarding an expansion to the Olkiluoto final disposal facility must not endanger the safety and operational preconditions of the current final disposal project. Posiva is expected to submit its application for a construction licence for the final disposal facility to the Government towards the end of the year.
Fennovoima will continue the preparation of an environmental impact assessment programme of its own nuclear waste final disposal solution. The programme will present a number of alternative final disposal sites.
The working group is chaired by Deputy Director General Herkko Plit of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. Teollisuuden Voima Oyj, Fortum Power and Heat Oy, Fennovoima Oy, and Posiva Oy have each appointed two representatives to the working group.
For further information, please contact:
Deputy Director General Herkko Plit, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, tel. +358 (0)29 506 3636 and +358 (0)50 462 0788