The types of nuclear waste generated at a nuclear power
plant include waste exempt from control, low and intermediate level
operating waste, and high level spent fuel.
Compared to the volume of produced energy, however, the amount of waste and its space requirements are small. The principle of nuclear waste management is to isolate the waste from organic nature until the radioactivity of the waste has decreased to an insignificant level.
The responsibility for nuclear waste management lies with the nuclear power companies who must carry out the necessary nuclear waste management measures for their own waste at their own cost. According to the Nuclear Energy Act, the processing, storage and final disposal of nuclear waste generated in Finland must take place in Finland and the import of nuclear waste into Finland is prohibited.
Funds for waste management collected in advance
The costs of nuclear waste management and final disposal of spent fuel are collected in the price of nuclear electricity from the shareholders of TVO into a fund for future use.
In Finland, nuclear power companies bear the costs of nuclear waste management, and the funds for that purpose are collected into the State Nuclear Waste Management Fund. Each year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment determines the share of each nuclear power company in the State Nuclear Waste Management Fund as well as the waste management fee to be paid to the fund. The liability share of the nuclear power companies in the Fund is decreased by the investments they make in final disposal.
The annual fee payable to the Fund is determined on the basis of the difference between the amount of accumulated nuclear waste for final disposal and the measures implemented for nuclear waste management. The fee is also increased or decreased on the basis of how well the Fund succeeds in its investments: if the interest income is higher than expected, the liability share in the Fund is correspondingly reduced. The objective is to accumulate enough assets in the Fund for the final disposal of accumulated nuclear waste.