Nuclear waste management
In Finland, nuclear waste is accumulated in the nuclear power plants in Loviisa and Olkiluoto and in the research reactor located in Otaniemi. According to the law, this waste must be managed in Finland, up to and including disposal. The responsibility for the preparation, financing and safe execution of nuclear waste management lies with the producers of the waste, i.e. the operators of the nuclear facilities. STUK controls the safety of nuclear waste management.
Compliance with safety regulations is monitored by checking the plans and reporting of nuclear facilities and by conducting inspection visits. STUK supervises the processing, storage and final disposal of both low- and medium-level waste as well as high-level waste, as well as the decommissioning of nuclear facilities after the end of their operations. The supervision of nuclear waste management focuses on the design, construction and operation of facilities, as well as annual maintenance, aging management, radiation safety, preparedness and security arrangements, staff qualifications and training, as well as management and quality management systems. In addition, with regard to final disposal facilities, the license holder's assessments of the safety after the closure of the facilities are checked. New nuclear facilities are also required to take the decommissioning phase into account already in the planning phase of the nuclear facility.
The nuclear energy legislation stipulates that every three years nuclear power companies must submit plans and reports on how the obligation to take care of nuclear waste has been fulfilled to the authorities. Nuclear power companies also report annually on the implementation of nuclear waste management plans. Nuclear power plant decommissioning plans are submitted to the authorities every six years. STUK makes expert evaluations of the plans and submits statements about them to TEM.
In Finland, funds for nuclear waste management are collected from nuclear power companies into the state's nuclear waste management fund. The purpose is to ensure that all the costs of nuclear waste management are included in the price of nuclear electricity and that the funds needed for nuclear waste management are available in all situations. TEM makes annual decisions on preparing for the costs of nuclear waste management. For this purpose, STUK issues statements to the ministry that examine in particular whether the technical plans on which the cost estimates are based are appropriate in terms of safety and technical feasibility.
EU Directive 2011/70/Euratom requires that EU member states submit to the European Commission a national program for the management of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. The program describes Finland's goals and measures as well as responsibilities and obligations for the safe implementation of nuclear waste management. STUK participates in drawing up the program with the responsible ministries (TEM and STM).