Contact authority's statement on the EIA programme regarding the expansion of Posiva Oy's final repository for spent nuclear waste
On 22 August, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy issued its statement on Posiva’s environmental impact assessment programme that regards the expansion of the planned final repository for spent nuclear waste. According to the MEE, the project assessment programme covers the primary requirements of the environmental impact assessment legislation and has been processed in accordance with the legislation in force.
Posiva delivered the environmental impact assessment programme for its project to the ministry on 13 May 2008. The related statement period ended on 25 July 2008. The MEE provided its statement on the basis of the requested and given statements and opinions. By the deadline, the ministry received 25 statements from various authorities and organisations. Statements were received at this stage from Sweden, Norway, Germany and Estonia in accordance with the international consultation procedure as determined in the Espoo Agreement. Altogether, 21 other opinions were received from various associations and private persons. The programme was regarded for the most part as comprehensive and appropriate in the given statements.
In its statement, the ministry considers the project that is being evaluated by means of the environmental impact assessment procedure to constitute the construction of the final repository facilities, expanded to the extent that 12,000 tonnes of uranium can be stored in the facilities after the expansion. The assessment concerns the expansion of the facilities. The environmental impact must be presented for three scenarios in which either 6,500, 9,000 or 12,000 tonnes of spent uranium nuclear fuel would be stored in the facilities.
The ministry considers it reasonable that the EIA report should include a review of the current state and future prospects with respect to reprocessing and nuclide transmutation technology.
The planned final repository will be located at Olkiluoto in the municipality of Eurajoki, Finland. It is MEE’s view that the impact assessment should also include the total impact and accumulative impact resulting from other projects at Olkiluoto. Moreover, the EIA report should include information on how the suitability of the location for this purpose is evaluated. The EIA report should also include an assessment of the long-term safety of the final repository and the impact of accidents and exceptional situations, including the transportation of spent nuclear fuel. The ministry also requires that the participation arrangements will be reviewed.
EIA procedure to continue with EIA report, provided by Posiva
During the next phase of the EIA procedure, Posiva will draft an environmental impact assessment report. This will also be delivered to the MEE in due course, and the ministry will circulate it for comments from various authorities and associations. Private citizens too will have the right to participate in this consultation. The MEE will prepare the final statement for the EIA procedure on the basis of the reports and statements.
This project EIA procedure will last at least until the start of the year 2009. The completed EIA report must be attached as part of a possible application for a decision in principle, as drafted in accordance with the Nuclear Energy Act.
Jaana Avolahti, consulting official, MEE, phone +358 10 606 4836
Jorma Aurela, Chief Engineer, MEE, phone+358 50 592 2109