Regulatory oversight of nuclear waste management

In Finland, nuclear waste is accumulated in the nuclear power plants in Loviisa and Olkiluoto and in the research reactor located in Otaniemi. According to the law, this waste must be managed in Finland, up to and including disposal.

The responsibility for the preparation, financing and safe execution of nuclear waste management lies with the producers of the waste, i.e. the operators of the nuclear facilities. The overall supervision of nuclear waste management is the responsibility of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. It decides the principles and draws up the schedules that power companies must abide by.

The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority controls the safety of nuclear waste management. The safety control includes oversight of handling, storage and disposal of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste as well as spent nuclear fuel and decommissioning of nuclear facilities.

Posiva Oy submitted an application for the construction of an encapsulation and disposal facility at Olkiluoto. The application, dated 28 December 2012, was addressed to the Government. STUK prepared a safety assessment on the application which assesses the long-term safety of the disposal facility, the technical feasibility of the facilities, the safety of their use and the readiness of Posiva’s organisation to construct a nuclear facility. The Government granted the construction licence to Posiva on 12 November 2015.

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