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A week in Östhammar with a focus on the environment

News   •   Oct 16, 2017 08:30 UTC

A week in Östhammar with a focus on the environment

The fourth week of the hearing began with the court presenting the schedule for the week. SKB’s legal representative presented SKB’s demands with a special focus on the Spent Fuel Repository.

Tuesday and Wednesday was about SKB’s operations and their consequences. SKB described the design of the Spent Fuel Repository, the planned activities, what the facility will look like and how it will function. SKB explained how the rock spoil will be handled and the planned measures to treat drainage water, leachate and waste water in order to avoid the release of nitrogen into the surrounding sea. The facility was described from a radiation safety perspective. It was concluded that neither human beings nor the environment will be exposed to radiation doses and that the expected dose load to personnel will be below the stipulated limits.

The environmental impact statement was presented along with its background and scope and the protective measures taken by SKB. Thereafter, SKB presented studies of transport and facility noise, where it was found that no limits will be exceeded.

Preventive measures

SKB continued with an account of what consequences the operations are judged to have for the Forsmark land and wetland environments and which countermeasures and protective measures SKB has committed to implement. SKB’s legal representative presented the legal assessments of the impact on national interests and protected species.

The appellants in the species protection case, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and MKG, had an opportunity to state their arguments, after which SKB stated its arguments.

The Environmental Protection Agency believes that an exemption from the Species Protection Ordinance can be granted but is discussing how it should be done and if the case should be submitted to the Government for assessment in conjunction with the issue of permissibility.

Natura 2000 licence

The County Administrative Board judges it possible to grant a Natura 2000 licence for the activities in the application as long as adequate conditions regarding protective measures and countermeasures are linked to the licence. But clarity is required for both the operator and the licensing authority.

Parties that only participated during this week were given the opportunity to present their views on the entire application. The Opinion Group for Safe Final Disposal, OSS, and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation in Uppsala presented the views of each organisation.

An inspection was carried out on Thursday afternoon. The entire party visited the Forsmark harbour, the area where the Spent Fuel Repository will be built and both natural and constructed ponds where SKB talked about the pool frog and other nature conservation measures.

The entire Friday was devoted to discussions of conditions. SKB presented updated obligations and a proposal for conditions, which resulted in several comments, replies and counter-replies.

The final week of the main hearing begins on Monday October 23rd in Nacka.

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