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New Tests of Nuclear Waste Capsules' Lifespan

Rising worries about the planned disposal of spent nuclear fuel rods have caused the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company SKB to announce new safety tests. A spokesman said that SKB is determined to prove that the copper capsules built to accommodate nuclear waste will be leakproof for at least 100,000 years. In a recently published study Swedish scientists have questioned this. They maintain that the containers will not last more than a thousand years.

The government has decided that 6,000 capsules containing nuclear waste shall be placed in a more than 400 meter deep shaft inside a mountain. The so-called final repository site lies close to the Forsmark power plant north of Uppsala. The dumping of fuel waste is supposed to start in 2014.

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