Participants in EM’s Office of Nuclear Materials Disposition workshop with Swedish executives gather for a photo.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – EM’s Office of Nuclear Materials Disposition held a workshop with Swedish executives earlier this month to learn about their approaches to designing a national waste management program.
EM officials met with representatives from SKB International, the consulting arm of SKB, the Swedish nuclear fuel and waste management company. They examined SKB’s integrated waste management system, known as KBS-3, and the potential for efficiencies and lifecycle costs reductions for EM’s used, or spent, nuclear fuel (UNF) disposition programs. EM Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Alice Williams hosted the meeting.
The SKB team completed an analysis that applied its waste management technology to the management of EM’s UNF and concluded that its technology may be adaptable to the disposal of EM’s UNF if a suitable geologic environment is identified, such as crystalline bedrock in Sweden. SKB is developing an industrial-scale encapsulation process to use steel inserts in welded copper canisters for containment. Plans call for construction of a facility to encapsulate about 12,000 metric tons of UNF and transport it to a repository near Forsmark for disposal 500 meters underground. SKB expects to begin constructing the repository in 2019.
SKB’s integrated waste management system and Sweden’s experience siting a repository will be featured at the 2014 Waste Management Conference in Phoenix, which is sponsored by EM. The Office of Nuclear Materials Disposition will participate with SKB in a presentation on the lessons learned from SKB’s experience managing UNF.