Final disposal responsibilities

In Finland, the law stipulates that each producer of nuclear energy is responsible for its own nuclear waste management.

Teollisuuden Voima Oyj and Fortum Power and Heat Oy have established Posiva Oy to manage the research and development work required for the disposal of the spent nuclear fuel produced at their power plants as well as the implementation of the selected disposal solution.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment holds the highest power of control and supervision over nuclear waste management in Finland. The Ministry prepares the legislation concerning nuclear waste as well as any associated international agreements with regard to Finland. It also supervises compliance with legislation and agreements.

The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) supervises the safety of nuclear power generation. STUK prepares instructions and regulations on nuclear safety and inspects the safety of nuclear power plants. The safety aspects of nuclear waste processing and storage also fall within the scope of STUK’s regulatory activities.

Construction of final disposal facility progresses

The optimisation phase of the concept and the costs continued in Posiva’s final disposal project.The ground excavations for the encapsulation plant started in the autumn of 2016 were completed in the autumn of 2017. The phase 2 of the construction of the ventilation building was completed, as was also the fire compartmenting work in the access ramp. HVAC works have been completed in the ventilation building. Procedure tests related to the reinforcing of the personnel shaft have been carried out.

Excavations for the actual final disposal repository started in December 2016 and have progressed to excavation work for the construction of the vehicle access tunnel. Excavations of shaft connection drifts have been completed in the canister shaft. Injection work in the canister shaft of the final disposal facility has been completed in the three topmost shaft sections, and the fourth is in progress. The first excavations for the final disposal repository are estimated to take two and a half years.

Posiva’s owners submitted the 2016 annual report of nuclear waste management to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment at the end of March.Posiva Solutions which provides expert services related to the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel has had a good start to its business operations. So far the company has signed about ten project agreements in different parts of the world. Together with its extensive network of subcontractors and cooperation partners, Posiva Solutions provides tailored expert services in final disposal to its customers.