Short list for possible nuclear waste sites released
The Interior Ministry has decided on six potential recipients of the nuclear waste that will remain after the decommissioning of the nation’s only functioning reactors.
With decommissioning of the three test reactors at the Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, north of Roskilde, set to be completed in 2018, officials have been seeking to identify a final resting site for the 5,000 cubic metres of low-level radioactive waste and the 233kg of spent uranium fuel rods.
Initially, 22 areas were identified as possible final depositories for the waste generated over the past 50 years.
The final six sites up for consideration were selected based on a geological assessment and with regard to potential threat to drinking water and the risk of earthquakes.
The final depository will need to be designed so that the waste will remain isolated from humans and the environment for at least 300 years.
The process, according to Ole Kastbjerg Nielsen, the head of Danish Decommissioning, involves wrapping the radioactive material in a two-layered metallic cylinder. The two layers are separated by a five-centimeter layer of concrete.
The cylinder itself is wrapped into a concrete container situated some 30 metres under ground.
It could take up to a year before the final depository is selected from among the final six sites under consideration.
The cost of establishing a permanent depository is expected to be somewhere between 180 and 500 million kroner, in addition to the estimated one billion kroner expenses for the decommissioning the reactors.
Factfile | Potential nuclear waste sites
Østermarie, Bornholm council
Rødbyhavn, Lolland council
Kertinge Mark, Kerteminde council
Hvidbjerg, Thyholm, Struer council
Thise, Salling, Skive council
Skive Vest, Skive council