January 23, 2018 / 3:16 PM / 3 months ago

Swedish regulators disagree on safety of nuclear waste plan

OSLO (Reuters) - Sweden’s radiation safety authority (SSM) and an environmental court issued diverging recommendations to the government on Tuesday on whether to allow the construction of a nuclear waste repository.

While the SSM said the nuclear fuel and waste management company SKB should be allowed to go ahead with the plan, which may take 10 years to complete, the Land and Environmental court said it was not certain of the proposed repository’s safety.

“There is still uncertainty about the ability of the capsule to contain the nuclear waste in the long term,” the court said, adding that further documentation was required.

The final decision to approve or reject the facility, designed to store up to 12,000 tonnes of spent fuel from Sweden’s nuclear plants, will be in the government’s hands.

In a statement to Reuters, Environment and Energy Minister Karolina Skog said no decision would be made this year.

SKB, controlled by Sweden’s nuclear plant operators, applied in March 2011 to build the repository at Forsmark in southwest Sweden.

Eva Hallden, SKB’s director, said the firm would produce additional documentation, which it was confident would allay the safety concerns of the environmental court.

Sweden currently stores its spent nuclear fuel in an interim facility near the Oskarshamn nuclear plant.

Editing by Kevin Liffey

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