ENR reports that a nuclear waste repository for spent nuclear fuel in Sweden could begin construction as early as 2016. The facility would consist of 50km of tunnels in granite bedrock up to 500-m deep. The proposed site is approximately 75-km north of Stockholm. The projected cost of the facility is $2.5 billion to $3.2 billion (US$ I presume). The Swedes would be chasing the Finns who might be the first country to have a permanent underground nuclear waste repository for spent nuclear fuel. (Illustration by BBC of Finland’s proposed repository)
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission – No. 08-106 – June 3, 2008
NRC RECEIVES DOEâ€™S LICENSE APPLICATION TO CONSTRUCT HIGH-LEVEL NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission received an application today from the U.S. Department of Energy for a license to construct the nationâ€™s first geologic repository for high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nev.
â€œWe are ready to get to work on this challenging review,â€ said NRC Chairman Dale E. Klein. â€œCongress has given the NRC a strict timetable for reviewing this application, and I want to assure the American people that we will perform an independent, rigorous and thorough examination to determine whether the repository can safely house the nationâ€™s high-level waste. The NRCâ€™s licensing decision will be based entirely on the technical merits.â€ [Editor] Read on for the rest of the press release [/Editor]
On the Radwaste blog by Geoff, I read about Borehole Disposal of Sealed Radioactive Sources or BOSS. This technology, which is explained by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) consists of disposal of smaller quantities of radioactive waste in specially engineered boreholes 30 to 100-m (approx. 100 to 330-ft) deep in suitable geologic media. Read on for more info. (Diagram by IAEA)
As the U.S. continues to fight over hurdles for its Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste repository, Finland is on track to become the first country with a permanent storage facility for spent fuel rods from nuclear reactors. Their Onkalo tunnel, on the western coast of Finland will eventually stretch for 5-km (2-miles) and reach a depth of 500-m (1,600-ft) in solid granite bedrock. Once at depth a grid of horizontal tunnels will be constructed. Vertical storage holes will be excavated in these horizontal shafts, and the spent rods, encased in steel cannisters with copper corrosion protection, will be placed on layers of bentonite clay. The clay will cushion the cannisters and protect them against long term geologic movement. The clay also serves as a barrier to water, swelling in its presence to seal off any cracks or conduits for water that could potentially transport nuclear contamination in the distant future if the primary measures of protection are compromised. The tunnels will eventually be backfilled with bentonite and rock. The facility is projected to open in approximately 15 years at a cost of about 3 billion euros. The projected life of the facility is through 2100. Links after the break. (Illustration by BBC)