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STUK ruling: Posiva can commence construction of final disposal facility

STUK ruling: Posiva can commence construction of final disposal facility

30 Nov 2016 10:41

The Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority’s (STUK) decision on 25 November gives the go ahead for Posiva to commence construction on the underground final disposal facilities for spent nuclear fuel in Olkiluoto, Eurajoki. In its decision, STUK states that Posiva has the capability to commence works under the terms of the construction licence issued for the final disposal facility.

The government issued the construction licence for the encapsulation and final disposal facility to Posiva in November 2015. Under the Nuclear Energy Decree, however, it is not permitted to commence the construction of a nuclear facility until STUK has inspected the documents and plans pertaining to the project. STUK must be persuaded that all safety factors have been sufficiently taken into account.

Prior to making its decision on Friday, STUK inspected Posiva’s organisational capabilities for completing the construction project. The inspection was carried out during the summer and autumn and comprised site visits and scrutiny of documents submitted by Posiva. The inspection visits focused on Posiva’s staff resources, project management practices, quality assurance processes, safety culture, planning and design activities, rock engineering work, impact monitoring arrangements and safeguards on nuclear materials.

Jussi Heinonen, Director of Nuclear Waste and Material Regulation at STUK points out that STUK carried out a comprehensive assessment on the safety of the planned nuclear facilities, and Posiva as an organisation, for the purposes of the construction licence two years ago. “Since the end of 2014, Posiva has clarified its plans and introduced a number of organisational changes. As a result, it was appropriate to re-inspect Posiva’s organisation as a whole along with its capability to complete the planned construction project.”

STUK will continue to supervise Posiva closely during the construction process  and to ensure that the technical plans used to inform the construction process are in line with the relevant standards on safety. For example, Posiva will not be permitted to commence the construction of the above-ground encapsulation facility until STUK has inspected the plans and issued a decision on them.


For more than ten years, Posiva has been building an underground research facility, known as Onkalo, at the final disposal site. The research facility is not subject to the construction licence but the construction work has been noted in governments decision-in-principle approved by the Finnish Parliament. As Onkalo will form part of the wider final disposal site, STUK has continued to supervise progress at the site in line with the requirements on nuclear facility construction.


Further information:

STUK's decision and memorandum in Finnish (pdf)

Jussi Heinonen, Director, tel. +358 9 759 88 679
Risto Isaksson, Information Officer, tel. +358 9 759 88 208

30 Nov 2016 10:57
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