Environmental impact assessment on the final disposal of very low-level nuclear waste in the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant area

On 29 September 2021, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment gave a reasoned conclusion on Teollisuuden Voima Oyj’s EIA report on the final disposal of very low-level nuclear waste. In the reasoned conclusion the coordinating authority gives its view on the significant environmental impacts of the project. The conclusion is based on the assessment report, the statements and opinions issued, and the coordinating authority’s own examination.

The assessment procedure concerned the construction of a near-surface disposal facility for very low-level nuclear waste in the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant area in Eurajoki. The procedure examined three alternative locations for constructing the near-surface disposal facility. As an alternative to the near-surface facility, it is proposed that the existing final disposal facility built into the bedrock could be expanded.

In its reasoned conclusion, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment stated that the assessment report meets the requirements of EIA legislation. The project alternatives examined were not considered to have significant adverse environmental impacts that could not be accepted, prevented or mitigated to an acceptable level. The most significant differences in environmental impacts are between the near-surface disposal and expansion of the final disposal facility in bedrock, of which the impacts of the latter one were found to be greater.
 
Teollisuuden Voima Oyj submitted the EIA report to the Ministry in May 2021. The submission of the EIA report was a continuation of the procedure that began in August 2020 when the company submitted an EIA programme. At both stages of the procedure, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment organised a public consultation.

To put a final disposal facility for very low-level nuclear waste into service requires a licence from the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority under section 21 of the Nuclear Energy Act (990/1987). The environmental impact assessment procedure shall be taken into account in the licence procedure.

The EIA report and the reasoned conclusion are available on the Finnish website (in Finnish).

More information: Linda Kumpula and Salla Palander