Disposal of low and intermediate-level waste in Finland
Final disposal of low and intermediate-level waste in Finland
The disposal of low and intermediate-level nuclear waste in Finland is carried out in facilities built in the bedrock on the premises.
In Olkiluoto, a disposal facility for low and intermediate-level waste has been in operation since 1992 and a similar facility was commissioned in Loviisa in 1998. Both power companies intend to dispose of low and intermediate-level radioactive waste arising from the dismantling of the nuclear power plants in a similar way by expanding existing disposal facilities.
The Olkiluoto VLJ repository
Teollisuuden Voima Oyj will dispose of low and intermediate-level radioactive waste generated at the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant in a final disposal facility located on Olkiluoto island (the Olkiluoto VLJ repository). The VLJ repository was commissioned in 1992 and in 2012 the Government gave permission for disposal of radioactive waste generated in state-run industry, medical care and research at the Olkiluoto VLJ repository.
The Olkiluoto VLJ repository consists of an access tunnel, a shaft and two rock silos at a depth of 60–95 meters, where the waste is disposed of. Low-level waste is packed in concrete boxes, placed in their own silo. The intermediate-level waste silo mainly contains liquid waste mixed with bitumen. The bitumen barrels are packed in concrete boxes. At the end of the disposal, the disposal facility will be closed by filling the facility spaces and sealing the entrance.
The Loviisa VLJ repository
Fortum Power and Heat Oy disposes of low and intermediate-level waste generated at the Loviisa power plant in the final disposal facility on the island of Hästholmen (the Loviisa VLJ repository). The Loviisa VLJ repository was taken into use in 1998. Fortum has expanded the VLJ repository in two stages by excavating a space for intermediate-level waste, and in the second phase by excavating an access tunnel loop and a waste processing facility.
The Loviisa VLJ repository consists of an access tunnel, a shaft and four final disposal tunnels at a depth of about 110 metres. Low-level waste is packed into steel drums and disposed of in two final disposal tunnels. Currently, a third final disposal tunnel is used for storing low-level waste. It will be used for the disposal of low-level waste later on. Liquid intermediate-level waste is solidified in concrete containers, which are placed in their own tunnel. At the end of the disposal, the disposal facility will be closed by filling the facility spaces and sealing the entrance.