After almost two decades of deliberation, Sweden last week announced a final destination for its nuclear waste. The community of Forsmark, around 100 kilometres north of Stockholm, will play host to a long-term storage facility for some 12,000 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel.
The fuel will be housed 500 metres underground in copper canisters buried in bentonite clay. Geologists believe that the combination will keep the fuel geologically stable for up to 100,000 years — the time it will take for the radioactive elements inside to decay to safe levels.
Svensk Kärnbränslehantering, the company tasked with nuclear-waste disposal, hopes to have the SEK12.5-billion (US$1.6-billion) facility fully operational by 2023.
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Sweden finally picks nuclear-waste burial site. Nature 459, 764 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/459764a