Nuclear waste management in Finland is regulated by the Nuclear Energy Act
(990/1987) and the Nuclear Energy Decree (161/1988) that came into force in 1988.
These define, for example, the liabilities of a nuclear energy producer, the
implementation of nuclear waste management, the licence procedures and the
supervision rights. The Nuclear Energy Act was amended in 1994 so that all nuclear
waste generated in Finland must be disposed of in Finland.
As producers of nuclear waste, Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) and Fortum Power and
Heat Oy (Fortum) are under the Nuclear Energy Act responsible for implementing the
management of nuclear waste produced in the Olkiluoto and Loviisa nuclear power
plants as well as for the costs thus incurred. According to the legislation, the Ministry of
Employment and the Economy (abbreviated as TEM in Finnish, previously the Ministry
of Trade and Industry, abbreviated as KTM) decides on the principles to be followed in
nuclear waste management. The legislation provides that the parties with the nuclear
waste management obligation must also provide the ministry with regular reports on
how they have planned to implement the measures included in nuclear waste
management and their preparations. Up to 2008, these reports were submitted to the
ministry annually, but following the amendment of the Nuclear Energy Act that entered
into force in 2009, the report is submitted at three-year intervals, and it must describe in
detail the measures for the next three-year period and also present an outline of the
plans for the subsequent three-year period. YJH-2012 is an overall plan referred to in
section 74 of the Nuclear Energy Decree.
In addition to the annual nuclear waste management reports, the parties with the nuclear
waste management obligation have been preparing three-year plans for nuclear waste
management in Olkiluoto and Loviisa since 2003. The plans (TKS-2003, TKS-2006 and
TKS-2009) have included the plans for future research, development and planning
work, as well as an assessment of the status of nuclear waste management, in particular
with respect to the preparations for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. The report now
produced, nuclear waste management programme YJH-2012, follows largely the same
lines as its predecessors.
TVO and Fortum are responsible for the on-site storage, processing and disposal of
operational waste generated in their own power plants. Both plant sites already feature
an operational disposal facility into which the operational waste generated during the
operation of the plant is placed. Waste generated from the eventual decommissioning of
the power plants is to be disposed of in the same facilities. In order to organise the
management of spent nuclear fuel, TVO and Fortum established Posiva Oy (Posiva) in
1995 for the purpose of taking care of the disposal of its owners' spent nuclear fuel.
The schedule for the disposal of spent fuel was established in decision 9/815/2003 of
the Ministry of Trade and Industry. According to the decision, Teollisuuden Voima Oyj
and Fortum Power and Heat Oy, as parties under the nuclear waste management obligation shall, either separately, together, or through Posiva, prepare to present all
reports and plans required to obtain a construction licence for encapsulation plant and
disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel as stated in the Nuclear Energy Decree by the end
of 2012. They must demonstrate that the operation of the encapsulation plant and
disposal facility can begin approximately in 2020.