Posiva and SKB into closer cooperation
Posiva and the Swedish nuclear waste management company SKB (Svensk Kärnbränslehantering) have concluded cooperation and information exchange agreements on research and technology for spent nuclear fuel. The agreements not only ensure continuation of cooperation that started already in the 1980s, but also widen the scope of collaboration in research and development activities focusing on final disposal and encapsulation technology. The agreements will remain in force for five years.Both Finland and Sweden have committed to take care of the nuclear waste generated in their own nuclear plants. Both countries have adopted a similar approach for disposal of spent nuclear fuel in the bedrock.
"It is quite natural for Posiva and SKB to strengthen their cooperation now that the disposal programmes in both countries are progressing towards the implementation. Cooperation is justified by the fact that the selected final disposal method is similar in both countries and there are no major differences in our bedrock, either”, says Mr. Veijo Ryhänen, Managing Director of Posiva. “Through collaboration and exchange of information we can avoid duplicate work and endeavour our competence in a more effective manner”, adds Mr. Peter Nygårds, Managing Director or SKB.
Posiva has progressed further with site characterisation than SKB, while Sweden has a head start in the planning of the disposal canister and in the testing of the repository technology. In the recent years, Posiva has taken part in the tests carried out in the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory in Sweden. A major part of future cooperation projects will focus on the development of manufacturing and sealing methods for the copper canister. Both Posiva and SKB have worked on a two-part canister that consists of an insert canister made of cast iron and a 5 cm thick outer copper jacket.
In accordance with the agreements, Posiva will in the future participate in the development work carried out in SKB’s encapsulation laboratory. The laboratory, which is located in Oskarshamn was opened in 1998. So far work there has included e.g. tests on handling the final disposal canister and development of electron beam welding of the copper lid.
In Sweden, the site investigations aiming at the selection of the disposal site are scheduled to 2002. The properties of the bedrock and the ground water conditions will be investigated by means of boreholes, where SKB can benefit from Posiva’s experience in this field of expertise. Posiva has developed advanced equipment for groundwater sampling and measuring of water flow.