Nuclear highlights Belgium
Information from Belgium, Mr. Kris van Dijck, mayor of Dessel
The decision to build a repository for low and intermediate short living radioactive waste was taken by the federal government in 2006. The nuclear license will be probably given in 2022, by the regulatory authority and the federal government. Works are being done in the municipality to finish the entrance cluster, the box-factory or the communication centre Tabloo which should be ready by mid-2021. On the other hand, the government asked for a decision on high level and intermediate long-lived radioactive waste. The radioactive waste management agency, Ondraf/Niras submitted a draft proposal for consultation to the public and various government services and has now to take into account the results of the consultation and submit a policy proposal to the Council of Ministers.
The legal closure of the different nuclear power plants in Belgium is foreseen to start in October 2022 and finish in December 2025.
Nuclear highlights Finland
Nuclear energy is the foundation of electricity production in Finland
More than a quarter of the electricity consumed in Finland is produced with nuclear energy. Nuclear power plays a major role in the implementation of the Finnish Climate and Energy Strategy, as nuclear power plants produce virtually no greenhouse gas emissions.
Supervision is based on nuclear energy legislation and its underlying principle of ensuring that the use of nuclear energy is safe and in line with the overall good of society.
Nuclear safety research guarantees the availability of Finnish expertise.
At present, there are four nuclear reactors in Finland. A fifth reactor unit is under construction, and a construction licence application for a sixth unit has been submitted to the Government.
Finland has begun the final disposal of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste, and a construction licence for the disposal project of spent nuclear fuel has been granted.
Finnish nuclear power plants and facilities for nuclear waste management
Finland has two nuclear power plants with a total of four nuclear reactors. Fortum Power and Heat Oy operates two pressurised water reactors located in Loviisa. Each reactor has a gross output of 520 MW. The units were commissioned for commercial use in 1977 and 1981. Their operating licences are valid until 2027 and 2030.
Teollisuuden Voima Oyj (TVO) has a nuclear power plant with boiling water reactors in Olkiluoto, in Eurajoki. The power plant consists of two units, each with a gross output of 900 MW. The units were commissioned in 1979 and 1982, and their current operating licences expire in 2038.
TVO is constructing a third nuclear power plant unit in Olkiluoto, with a capacity of 1,600 MW. It is expected to be operational in 2021. The unit is a pressurised water reactor.
On 6 May 2010 and 18 September 2014, the Government made decisions-in-principle on Fennovoima Oy’s nuclear power plant project. On 30 June 2015, Fennovoima submitted to the Government an application for a construction licence. The Government is estimated to consider the construction licence decision in 2019. The new power plant is to be located in Pyhäjoki. The unit will be a pressurised water reactor with an electric power output of 1,200 MW.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is preparing the decommissioning of its research reactor (FiR 1) in Otaniemi, Espoo. The reactor was shut down in 2015.
All nuclear fuel used in Finland is imported.
Low- and intermediate-level operational waste will be disposed of at the plant sites. Finland has final disposal facilities for operational waste in Olkiluoto and Loviisa.
Spent nuclear fuel from the NPPs in operation in Finland will be disposed of in Finland. An encapsulation and disposal facility will be constructed in Olkiluoto at Eurajoki.
Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Information from Mr. Vesa Lakaniemi, mayor of Eurajoki
Eurajoki has 2 nuclear power plant units in operation and one under construction (Olkiluoto 3). There is also in Olkiluoto an interim storage for spent fuel, a repository for low and medium level waste and a final disposal tunnel. Disposal for spent fuel should start in 2024. Communication at local level has been ongoing since the nuclear power plants were commissioned, over 40 years ago. The knowledge of nuclear issues at local level is higher than at national level. In addition, dialogue between the municipality, TVO and Posiva started in 1995 with the creation of a co-operation group. There is now an opportunity to build the Eurajoki brand: “the most electrified municipality” in Finland.
NyMTiT – Nyugat-Mecseki Társadalmi Információs Ellenőrzési és Településfejlesztési Önkormányzati Társulás
ITET – Izotóp Tájékoztató Ellenőrző Társulás
TEIT – Társadalmi Ellenőrző, Információs és Településfejlesztési Társulás
TETT – Társadalmi Ellenőrző Tájékoztató Társulás
Nuclear highlights Hungary
Information from Hungary, Mr. Csaba Dohóczki, vicepresident GMF
In Hungary, there are 4 associations of municipalities around nuclear facilities: ITET, TEIT, TETT and NyMTIT, as shown in the map below.
Municipalities are important communication vehicles between people and the nuclear facilities. They organise site visits, open days, frequent meetings with operators, etc. Another function of the associations is related to the right to control nuclear facilities and the independent environmental monitoring system. From the past experience, trust, partnership, involvement and transparency are needed for a good co-operation between the nuclear facility and the public.
Nuclear highlights Netherlands
Information from the Netherlands, Mr. Gerben Dijksterhuis, mayor of Borsele
Nuclear energy has only been discussed in recent years. The majority in Parliament believe that nuclear power is an option for the future and the construction of new NPPs is on the political agenda. In Borsele we have the only commercial nuclear power reactor. The power plant in Borsele has a license until 2034, as laid down in the nuclear energy act. Extending the lifetime of this reactor is a political issue and needs the law to be amended. There is also the need to talk to regional boards and local communities.
The storage facility of nuclear waste by the Central Organisation for Radioactive Waste COVRA can be visited. There are also exhibitions and debates organised on a regular basis. Safety is guaranteed for 100 years. The final disposal facility is planned for about 100 years and is under investigation. As a mayor, nuclear safety is of particular importance. The mayor has an important role in crisis management and radiation incident. We have updated those plans and we exercise regularly with the parties involved, including our Belgian neighbours.
ANPPT | RUSSIA
The Fund for development of municipal entities “Association of nuclear power plant’s territories” (fund “ANPPT”) was established in 2013 at the initiative of Rosenergoatom. The founding partners are Rosenergoatom and local authorities of municipal entities where the NPPs are located. At present the fund “ANPPT” embraces 15 municipal entities and 12 operational NPP units and those under construction in Russia.
In 2018, a new composition of the Fund Council and auditing commission was approved and a new chairman was elected – Nikolay Nikolayevich Netyaga, head of the Novovoronezh urban district, Voronezh Oblast. Six meetings of the fund “ANPPT” Council were held in 2018.
The purpose of the Fund include:
- The organization of a “single window system” for information acquisition about nuclear energy facilities safety operation in all territories
- Coordination in making an implementing decisions of Rosenergoatom and local self-government bodies
- Creating a unified training system, sharing experience, competency building
- Developing common social safety standards
The Youth Council of the fund “ANPPT” including representatives of all NPP location areas was created in November 2018 with a view to develop youth initiatives.
The Fund pays special attention to developing international civil diplomacy. The Expert Council of the fund “ANPPT” including representatives of Hungary, Belarus and Abkhazia was created in 2018. Memoranda of twin-city relations were signed between Volgodonsk (Rostov Oblast) and Tamashi (Hungary), Polyarnye Zori (Murmansk Oblast) and Dukovany (Czech Republic).
Nuclear highlights Slovenia
Information from Slovenia, Mr. Miran Stanko, mayor of Krsko
The closure of the Krsko NPP is planned in 2023 and the operator would like to prolong it until 2043. As the low and intermediate level waste repository is 97% full, there is a need for a new repository. The permission to build it will be ready this year. Regarding the dry spent fuel storage, there was a decision to build it three years ago and it will be finished in 2023. The operational life time is 100 years or until there is a solution for a final repository.
The national energetic plan approved in 2020 opens the possibility to build a new nuclear power plant.
Krsko municipality receives a compensation of 8,5 million euros per year from the NPP and the fund for decommissioning. The compensations are regulated by the government and each government tries to lower them. The municipality requires regulation by law to get some long term assurance of the compensation.
AMAC – Asociación de Municipios en Áreas de Centrales Nucleares
Nuclear highlights Spain
Information from Spain, Mr. Mariano Vila d’Abadal, adviser of the Spanish Association in Nuclear Areas, AMAC
In Spain, all NPPs will be closed by 2035, which is a great concern for the future of nuclear municipalities. There will be agreements between the local authorities, State and the different economic actors that may act upon the set areas to foster new economic development activities. These agreements have just started in the coal areas where coal facilities have been shut down. Theoretically the agreements with NPPs should have started but we still do not have a clear agenda from the government.
The Spanish radioactive waste management agency, ENRESA, has presented a new plan on nuclear waste management, in which it is foreseen to extend the LILW activity in el Cabril and to build an interim centralised storage facility for spent fuel. There is no firm official proposal and no procedure on how the decision will be reached.
KSO | SWEDEN
This text was provided by Ted Linquist on May 14 th 2020.
Background on KSO
In the 1970s there was a rapid expansion of nuclear power in Sweden and especially in the municipalities of Oskarshamn and Östhammar on the east coast and Kävlinge and Varberg on the west coast. The affected municipalities had to consider the huge construction works at the NPPs not only in their physical planning but also in their economic and social policies (housing, roads, social infra-structure, etc). After proposals from different politicians in the municipalities, a meeting took place in Malmö in the autumn of 1977. At that meeting between the “nuclear communes”, the mayors decided to create a special network, abbreviated KSO. In 1993, Nyköping entered KSO as a member with its important research and development centre at Studsvik.
This rather informal network with five members has been working for the last 40 years. The most important objective of KSO has been to facilitate the cooperation and the exchange of local experiences between the nuclear power municipalities. At meetings (2-3 times a year), seminars, study tours and training, a number of questions have been raised and discussed. Other major task for KSO is nuclear safety issues and competence building for nuclear staff. The waste management operations and plans, especially the siting of a high level waste (HLW) final repository is of great interest to follow for the members of KSO. Especially, Environmental Impact Studies in an early phase of planned changes are of a great interest to the affected municipalities as a base for an efficient local democratic dialogue. The more the municipalities can cooperate both nationally and internationally, the greater the possibility to be listened to and to be considered. The emergency planning and its impacts in the surroundings of the NPPs is another subject of interest to learn more about and to develop.
Since the foundation of KSO, the association has organised training for local politicians, especially designed for members of the Local Liaison/Safety Committees. KSO’s experiences of educating local politicians since more than 40 years demonstrate clearly the importance for them to understand the basic knowledge of the nuclear fuel cycle and especially why, what and how man must be protected from radiation. This includes the importance of taking relevant local decisions after a well-developed dialogue with the affected municipality and its citizens. In Sweden there is also a planning monopoly for local authorities so the municipalities have the possibility to change plans. There is also a possibility for a local veto when it comes to the question of hosting a facility.
Many study trips have been carried out abroad and sometimes to international organisations like IAEA and European institutions. These study tours are coordinated with the training of local politicians close to the NPPs. As said earlier a very important task to the network of KSO is to observe the nuclear world surrounding us. As a result of these observations KSO now and then makes conclusions and organises cooperation and sometimes lobbying for our sake versus the industry and versus the national Government as well as important decision makers and organisations like EU, NEA and IAEA.
Nuclear highlights Sweden
This text was provided by Ted Linquist on May 14 th 2020.
Swedish energy politics
In Sweden there is since 2016 an agreement between a majority of political parties in the Swedish Parliament regarding energy. The goal is 100 % renewables by 2045. Nuclear is still an option at existing nuclear sites during the life time of the reactors. There is also a possibility to build new reactors on existing sites/places.
At the same time there is a political discussion at the moment between different parties due to the fact that industry has decided to close down and dismantle in total 4 Swedish reactors. The reactors are located in Oskarshamn (Oskarshamn NPP) and Varberg (Ringhals NPP) municipalities. Both municipalities are members of KSO. Sweden will then have ten reactors in production. This has great impact on these two municipalities and the regions. A special conversion program including national grants has therefore been initiated.
The political parties opposing closure think that the 4 reactors should continue to produce electricity during the lifespan of the reactors. They are also in favour of building new reactors. They demand the National Agreement to be revised and a new Commission to be appointed.
The position of the national government, consisting of Socialdemocrats and the Greens, is that the Energy Agreement still is valid and do not want a new Commission.
Nuclear Power in Sweden
Nuclear power accounts for about 50 % of the electricity generated in Sweden.
In Sweden, there will be in the future 6 power-producing reactors at three sites: Forsmark (3), Oskarshamn (1) and Ringhals (2). Four of these are boiling water reactors while the Ringhals’s reactors are of the pressurised water reactor type.
Nuclear activities in Sweden are mainly regulated by the Act on Nuclear Activities. Under Swedish law, the responsibility for safety rests entirely with the holder of the licence to operate a nuclear facility.
The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) stipulates, in its regulations, what this responsibility entails and, through inspections and reviews, ensures that each licensee takes its responsibility. SSM also supervises compliance with the radiation protection regulations.
Deviations from normal operating procedures must be reported to SSM. Often, these involve technical problems that are of little significance to safety. In some cases, the authority intervenes and requires more extensive investigations or descriptions of the event. SSM can also shut down a reactor if it does not fulfil the requirements of the operating licence and regulations. Severe incidents are very uncommon in Sweden and radioactive releases that exceed the limits have so far not occurred.
The Swedish emergency preparedness organisation for nuclear accidents involves several authorities. In the event of an accident or a severe incident at a Swedish or foreign nuclear power plant which may entail consequences to the environment in Sweden, the Swedish emergency preparedness organisation will take effect. Sweden has signed agreements with several neighbouring countries whereby, at an early stage, these countries are to inform each other in the event of severe nuclear events.
Nuclear Waste Management
In Sweden there has been a long process of more than 25 years regarding radioactive waste management and the process of siting the national final geological repository. The concerned municipalities have been partners in the process all these years. There is a lot of competence in these issues at local level both on political level, municipal officials and civil servants and different stakeholders as for example the inhabitants. Recognition from both national government and industry for the municipalities contribution to solve a question of national interest is of great importance.
In 2018, KSO sent a letter to Parliament, Government and regulatory authorities pointing out the importance of this long process for over 25 years and that this should not be prolonged. KSO highlighted the importance that the government takes a decision regarding the HLW repository in the near future.
As of June 2020, Sweden awaits a final decision from the national government about the site for a final repository. Industry proposed Forsmark in Östhammar municipality HLW. After the ending of a judicial and environmental act process there is now hope that a Government decision is possible at the end of 2020.
NuLeAF – Nuclear Legacy Advisory Forum
Nuclear highlights UK
NuLeAF – Nuclear Legacy Advisory Forum
This text was provided by Ms. Catherine Drapper and Mr. Philip Matthews in August 2020.
WHO IS NuLeAF?
Founded in 2002, NuLeAF (the Nuclear Legacy Advisory Forum) is the Local Government Association (LGA) representative body on legacy wastes and decommissioning. Today, we are supported by over 100 local authorities and national park authorities across England and Wales and speak for the wider LGA on radioactive waste management issues. Our remit encompasses all aspects of the management of the UK’s nuclear waste legacy. Our aim is: That policy, strategy and practice for all nuclear waste and legacy issues has the interests of local authorities as a central concern, leading to the best possible outcomes for the communities they serve.
NuLeAF acts as the voice of our members, engaging on their behalf with the UK and Welsh Governments, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and regulators. We also work to build the capacity of local authorities to work together with government and industry to deliver the best outcomes for their area.
In addition to our work in the UK we are engaged in a range of European and international initiatives through the EU, NEA and IAEA.
Policy and Strategy
NuLeAF wants the Strategy and Policy framework for nuclear decommissioning and legacy waste management to be clear, effective, and operating in the interests of the communities that host nuclear licensed sites.
Site decommissioning and remediation
We want to see the effective and timely clean-up of nuclear legacy sites. Crucial issues for local government include the establishment of an effective framework for decommissioning and the development of clear plans for remediation of NDA sites and for their next planned use.
Geological Disposal Facility (GDF)
The search for a host community for the UK’s Higher Activity Waste (HAW) was launched in England in December 2018 and in Wales in January 2019. Local authorities are at the heart of the siting process and NuLeAF is working closely with the Government and RWM Ltd to:
- Raise awareness of the GDF siting process and thus increase the number of local communities entering;
- Ensure the process is workable and helps keep communities engaged in it for as long as they wish to be;
- Maximise the direct and indirect financial benefits for communities and local authorities;and
- Enhance the wider gains in terms of local economic development, skills, infrastructure and environmental outcomes.
The operational timeline of a geological disposal facility can be consulted here.
As of November 2020, two municipalities have entered discussion with RWM Ltd. These communities are near Sellafield but others may enter. There is also a lot of discussion about near surface disposal of some higher activity wastes.
Socio economics and skills
NuLeAF wants to boost the employment and economic outcomes of decommissioning and support local businesses and the supply chain. We continue to press the industry to support local Small/Medium Enterprises (SMEs), boost education and skills and deliver enhanced community benefits and investment.
Land Use & Waste Planning
NuLeAF’s Radioactive Waste Planning Group (RWPG) is an expert group of land use and waste planning officers that meets regularly. Through the RWPG we help advise government and the industry on planning issues and ensure that local plans are effective in delivering the right solutions for decommissioning.
The 2004 Energy Act gives the NDA a duty to engage with communities. We believe effective engagement is not just the right thing to do, but that it leads to better strategy, policy and practice to the benefit of all.
UK ENERGY POLICY
Current policy is for a diverse mix of energy sources that deliver the UK’s ambitions to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 while ensuring affordability and reliability of supply.
Recent years has seen a dramatic fall in the use of coal which now contributes just 3% of electricity generation. Renewables and natural gas both make deliver almost 40% of generation with nuclear contributing around 17% of the total. The UK also has a range in measures in place to help decarbonise the transport and heat sectors.
NUCLEAR POWER IN THE UK
The United Kingdom was a pioneer of nuclear technologies and the world’s first commercial nuclear power station was opened at Calder Hall near Sellafield in Cumbria in 1956. The Sellafield site, along with 10 Magnox Reactor sites and 2 research sites are now being decommissioned and remediated. There are currently 7 Advance Gas-cooled Reactors (AGRs) and 1 Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) in operation in the UK. EDF is constructing new twin reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset and has submitted a development consent order for further twin reactors at Sizewell in Suffolk. Other new large reactor projects have stalled, but Government is currently considering the potential of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) for some locations.
RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT
The UK has one of the largest and most complex decommissioning and nuclear waste management programmes in the world, with a particular challenge being the clean-up of the legacy ponds and silos at Sellafield. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) was created under the Energy Act 2004 to lead the remediation of former nuclear sites on behalf of the UK Government. They are responsible for decommissioning 17 nuclear sites, plus associated liabilities and assets. This includes the Magnox power stations, various research and fuel facilities and Sellafield, home to Calder Hall reactor, spent fuel reprocessing plant and storage, the UK stockpile of plutonium and other radioactive waste management facilities.
NDA produces a strategy which is updated every five years. Their plans are approved by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and Scottish Ministers, who also provide a policy framework. Their work is overseen by the UK regulators.
NDA established Site Stakeholder Groups at each of its sites as a conduit to engage with the local community.
RWM Ltd, a subsidiary of NDA, is the developer for a geological disposal facility for Higher Activity Wastes.