[ RadSafe ] The world's first permanent disposal site for used nuclear fuel will be at Forsmark, Sweden's SKB announced today.

George Stanford gstanford at aya.yale.edu
Wed Jun 3 14:14:02 CDT 2009

      Is there nobody influential in  Sweden who 
knows that the used fuel that they're going to 
bury in clay -- presumably irretrievably -- still 
retains 95% of the energy it started with?

      Nobody who knows that fast reactors can access that energy?

      Nobody who knows that the waste form fast 
reactors (such as the IFR) is mainly fission products (one ton per GWe-year)?

      Nobody who knows that the activity of that 
waste becomes too low to worry about within 500 years?

      Nobody who knows that 90% of the ore's 
energy remains in the depleted uranium that's 
left over from the enrichment process -- energy 
that also can be used by fast reactors?

     Nobody who knows that the IFR technology is 
ready now for a commercial-scale demonstration?

     We don't seem to be very good at telling 
people about what nuclear power can do for the world, do we?

         George Stanford
         Reactor physicist, retired


At 01:43 PM 6/3/2009, Cary Renquist wrote:
Forsmark for Swedish nuclear waste
03 June 2009

The world's first permanent disposal site for 
used nuclear fuel will be at Forsmark, Sweden's SKB announced today.

The decision was announced by SKB President, 
Claes Thegerström today after a board meeting 
yesterday. Forsmark, in the municipality of 
Östhammar, was selected in favour of Laxemar in 
the Oskarshamn municipality after a process of 
investigation and engagement that has lasted since 2002.

Site works towards the underground facility could 
begin in 2013, with full construction starting in 
2015 and operation in 2023. This single facility, 
using only 15 hectares above ground, would hold 
all of the high-level radioactive waste from the 
nuclear power reactors that provide about 45% of 
Sweden's electricity. SKB will apply to nuclear 
safety regulators for premission to build in around one year's time.

The repository is designed to isolate the wastes 
for the 100,000 years it will take until their 
levels of radiation return to the original low 
levels of natural uranium. Used nuclear fuel 
assemblies are to be packed in cast iron baskets 
within thick copper canisters and packed in clay 
almost 500 metres below gound in a continguous 
section of igneous rock. At that level, 
groundwater movement is so slow that the wastes 
could never affect life at the surface. The 
method, known as KBS-3, was selected in 1983.

The competition to host the site was hard fought, 
with both communities taking keen interest - both 
municipalities already have nuclear facilities. 
Forsmark already hosts a nuclear power plant and 
the final repository for short-lived radioactive 
waste, but its selection for this facility comes 
as something of a surprise. The used fuel for 
disposition at the CLAB interim store is in the 
Oskarshamn municipality near Laxemar, as will be 
the encapsulation plant. Also in that region is 
the Äspö hard rock laboratory where much of the 
practical work to demonstrate the disposal method has taken place

Cary Renquist


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