Final report: Management of radioactive waste in Finland would benefit from cooperation between waste producers

The National Nuclear Waste Management Co-operation Group presented its final report to Minister of Economic Affairs Katri Kulmun on 2 September 2019. The Working Party considers it important that all radioactive waste already existing and to be generated in Finland is properly managed, regardless of its origin, producer or production method.

According to the working group, Finland should have procedures covering all handling, storage and disposal of nuclear waste and other radioactive waste generated in Finland.

According to the final report, it is appropriate that waste treatment and disposal will be mainly carried out on existing infrastructure. This requires cooperation and the development of licensing procedures for nuclear facilities.

From the point of view of licensees, cooperation is possible provided that it has no impact on the companies' electricity production or on the social acceptability of their operations. However, modifying the nuclear facility permits to meet these needs requires a full, multi-stage and relatively slow licensing process.

Legislation should seek to provide sufficient flexibility in the development of licensing procedures, while preserving important principles of the Nuclear Energy Act, such as the right level of decision-making, risk-based safety, empowerment of sites and public participation.

In June 2017, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy set up a working group to study the objectives, development measures and solutions for the safe and cost-effective management of nuclear waste and other radioactive waste from the present to the far future.

Cooperation must also be developed in the future at the interface between the Nuclear Energy Act, the Radiation Act and the Waste Act

 

According to the working group, waste exempted from regulatory control under the Nuclear Energy Act and the Radiation Act is non-hazardous in terms of its radiation properties, so that it is transferred to regulatory control under the Waste Act. However, there are still biases in the waste that make it difficult to handle it properly.

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