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työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö

Nuclear waste management

Nuclear waste management means all measures necessary to recover, store and handle nuclear waste and permanently dispose of it including measures pertaining to the decommissioning of a nuclear facility. According to the law, the party holding a licence to run a nuclear plant is also responsible for all interventions necessary to process the waste it has produced (referred to as the liability for nuclear waste management). Future decommissioning of nuclear plants is included in nuclear waste management.

The licence holder answers for nuclear waste management costs. To guarantee that outstanding nuclear waste management interventions can be carried out in all circumstances, the parties liable for waste management have paid, and shall pay more, if necessary, funds into the State Nuclear Waste Management Fund.

The licence holders' waste management plans must be submitted for approval by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority holds an essential role in, e.g., monitoring the realisation of nuclear waste management as well as in the approval procedures for carrying out management interventions appropriately. The parties liable for nuclear waste management are the nuclear power companies Teollisuuden Voima Oyj and Fortum Power and Heat Oy, as well as the Technical Research Centre of Finland, the operator of a research reactor. Fennovoima Oy will become a licensee under a waste management obligation when its power plant under planning is granted an operating license.

There are operational underground final disposal sites for low-and medium-activity nuclear waste within the plant area of both nuclear power companies, in Loviisa and Olkiluoto. The sites also include intermediate storage for spent nuclear fuel. At a later date, the spent fuel shall be transferred from these water pool storage facilities to a final disposal area in Olkiluoto, planned by Posiva Oy. According to the plans, this plant should be functional in around 2020. An application for construction license submitted to the Government 28.12.2012.

Fennovoima Oy must specify its plans for nuclear waste management. Regarding the management of spent nuclear fuel, it means either an agreement on nuclear waste management cooperation with the current parties liable for nuclear waste management or an environmental impact assessment program for a repository for rinal disposal of spent nuclear fuel operated by Fennovoima itself.

More information about nuclear waste management can be found on this site, in the sections on the nuclear waste management fund, nuclear energy legislation and the plant project concerning nuclear waste.

Page last updated: 27.05.2015

Further information

Jaana Avolahti

External sources of information