Tag Archives: olkiluoto

Taking Pride in Nuclear Waste: Finland and Sweden

The site for Posiva’s repository at Eurajoki for the disposal of Finland’s high-level radioactive waste (used nuclear fuel), near the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant, was selected in 2000. The Finnish parliament approved the the repository project the following year in 2001… The government granted a construction licence for the project in November 2015 and construction work on the repository started iin 2016.  Posiva’s plan is for used nuclear fuel to be packed inside copper-steel canisters at an above-ground encapsulation plant, from where they will be transferred into the underground tunnels of the repository, located at a depth of 400-450 meters, and further into deposition holes lined with a bentonite buffer. Operation of the repository is expected to begin in 2023. The cost estimate of this large-scale construction project totals about EUR500 million (USD570 million), the company said.

Posiva  announced on June 25, 2019  the start of construction of the used fuel encapsulation plant. Janne Mokka, Posiva’s President, noted, “In Finland, full lifecycle management of nuclear fuel is a precondition for the production of climate-friendly nuclear electricity. Posiva will execute the final disposal of the spent fuel of its owners’ Olkiluoto and Loviisa nuclear power plants responsibly.”

Sweden is planning a similar used fuel encapsulation and disposal facility using the same storage method. Under its current timetable, national radioactive waste management company Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB plans to start construction of the used fuel repository and the encapsulation plant sometime early in the 2020s and they will take about 10 years to complete.

Exceprts from Work starts on Finnish fuel encapsulation plant, World Nuclear News, June 25, 2019

See also documentary “Into Eternity” (YouTube)

Olkiluoto 3 Nuclear Plant is Ready: 2005-2020

Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (Stuk) yesterday informed the government it sees no reason why an operating licence for the first-of-a-kind nuclear plant EPR at Olkiluoto 3 should not be granted to utility Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO).]…The Areva-Siemens consortium began construction of Olkiluoto 3 – the first-of-a-kind EPR – in 2005 under a turnkey contract signed with TVO in late 2003. Completion of the reactor was originally scheduled for 2009, but the project has suffered various delays and setbacks. Under the latest schedule, fuel will now be loaded into the reactor core in June 2019, with grid connection to take place in October 2019, and the start of regular electricity generation scheduled for January 2020.

In December 2018, unit 1 of the Taishan plant in China’s Guangdong province became the first EPR to enter commercial operation. Taishan 2 is scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2019. The loading of fuel into the core of the Flamanville EPR in France is expected towards the end of this year. Two EPR units are also under construction at the Hinkley Point C project in Somerset, UK.

Excerpts from Regulator concludes Finnish EPR can operate safely, Nuclear News, Feb. 2019

Finland and Sweden go Ahead with Nuclear Waste Disposal

An application to build a Finnish repository for spent nuclear fuel was filed Friday (December 28, 2012), the government and the company planning to build the storage site said.  The planned location is at Olkiluoto in south-western Finland where two of the country‘s four reactors operate and a fifth is being built.  Company Posiva, owned by energy groups TVO and Fortum, said the envisaged site was to store 9,000 tonnes of spent uranium fuel.  “The construction licence application is based on more than 30 years of research and development work, carried out ever since the commissioning of the existing nuclear power plants,” said Reijo Sundell, president of Posiva.  The waste is to be stored in bedrock at a depth of 400-450 metres. The waste would be cached in canisters that would be able to withstand corrosion, the company said.

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy said it would invite other ministries, authorities and organizations to provide views on the plans, as well as private citizens and the municipality of Eurajoki where Olkiluoto is located.  The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority is to assess safety. The process is expected to run until the end of 2014 when the government is to consider the construction licence application.

A similar review is underway in neighbouring Sweden where the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB) opted for the municipality of Osthammar, 150 kilometres north of Stockholm, for an envisaged repository to store Swedish waste for 100,000 years.  Osthammar, with some 23,000 inhabitants, is home to three reactors at the Forsmark plant and earlier applied to house the storage site.

Application filed for Finnish nuclear waste repository, Europe Online, Dec. 28, 2012