Posiva – the Finnish waste management company, has laid the foundation stone for the used fuel encapsulation plant Onkalo, at Olkiluoto, with construction scheduled for completion in 2022.
Construction of the world’s first permanent underground nuclear storage facility (costing an estimated EUR500 million (US$550 million) began in 2016 and once complete, it will store up to 6,500 tons of waste. Operation of the repository is expected to begin in 2023.
Used fuel will be packed inside copper-steel canisters at the above-ground encapsulation plant, then transferred into the underground repository, located at a depth of 400-450 meters.
“Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (a joint owner of Posiva) has been working and doing research on the final disposal of nuclear fuel since the late 1970s,” Posiva Communications Manager Pasi Tuohimaa told Nuclear Energy Insider.
“The used fuel needs to be cooled down in temporary storage for at least 40 years, so the first moment to start final disposal is now.
“Posiva was established in 1995, when the Finnish law changed so no used nuclear fuel is allowed to be brought in to Finland or taken out. The other owner of Posiva, Fortum, had transported its used nuclear fuel to Russia prior to that.”
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