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Expert: Swedish nuclear waste plans are old fashioned

Published fredag 22 februari 2013 kl 10.10
Forsmark reactor

The rubble from Sweden's old nuclear power stations will be sealed in a cave deep under the Baltic sea - but an expert now says that this kind of storage is unsafe.

When the power stations are demolished there will be enough radioactive waste to fill 20,000 cars. The company that manages Sweden's nuclear fuel and waste, SKB, wants to store this in a stone chamber underwater, off the coast of central Sweden near the Forsmark reactor, something that environmental groups oppose.

But German nuclear consultant Gerhard Schmidt says that this is a method from the 1980s, and would never be considered in Germany today. He says that a mine shaft at least 800 metres deep is necessary, to contain the waste for tens of thousands of years.

After the chamber near Forsmark is sealed, it will fill with water, meaning a slow leackage of waste. This will not release an unsafe level of radiation, says the director of SKB, Saida Laârouchi Engström.

The Swedish waste company's application to build the underground waste chamber is being considered by the Radiation Safety Agency.

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