Posiva secures construction licence for final disposal facility of spent nuclear fuel

Posiva has secured the Finnish Government licence for the construction of a final disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel.

After an extensive and multidisciplinary research and development work Posiva can now proceed to construction of the final disposal facility in Olkiluoto according to the concept it has developed.

The final disposal of the spent fuel generated in the Olkiluoto and Loviisa nuclear power plants into the Finnish bedrock is planned to start in the early 2020’s.

The Government’s favourable decision for Posiva’s construction licence application is recognition for the extensive R&D work carried out by Posiva for more than 40 years to develop a safe final disposal solution for spent nuclear fuel. After gaining research results and experience from the underground rock characterisation facility ONKALO, Posiva is now about to move on to the construction of the final disposal facility on the island of Olkiluoto in Eurajoki, Finland.

– The construction licence that has now been granted for our final disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel is a significant achievement for us, our owners and our entire personnel. This pioneering project is important not only for Finland, but also on a global scale. It is the first project entering into construction phase in the whole world. I express my thanks and appreciation to all the experts and partners in Finland and in other countries, who have joined their forces and expertise in this unique and multidisciplinary project, says Posiva’s President and CEO, Mr. Janne Mokka.

In the final disposal facility, the spent fuel assemblies will be encapsulated and placed in the bedrock at a depth of about 400 metres for permanent disposal. The facility comprises two parts: the aboveground encapsulation plant for the encapsulation of the spent fuel in the final disposal canisters, and the final repository deep in the bedrock, with tunnels in which the spent fuel will be placed.

Posiva is the leading expert in nuclear waste management and in charge of the final disposal of the spent fuel generated in Finland by its owners, Teollisuuden Voima and Fortum, as well as for research related to final disposal and other expert activities in its sector of operation.

The Finnish Parliament approved the decision-in-principle on the final disposal project in 2001. Posiva submitted the application for the construction licence at the end of 2012. In February 2015, Finnish safety authority STUK issued a statement to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy stating that Posiva’s encapsulation plant and final repository for spent nuclear fuel can be built to be safe.