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Nuclear Waste Repository Could Begin Construction in 2016

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The Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB) has chosen a site for permanent storage of highly adioactive spent fuel from Swedish plants. The site, near Forsmark, is 75 kilometers north of Stockholm. Estimated to cost between $2.5 billion and $3.2 billion, the repository includes 50 km of tunnels in granite bedrock 500 meters underground, requiring the excavation of 1.8 million cu m of rock. Spent fuel would reside in 25-tonne copper-coated canisters, surrounded by a buffer of bentonite clay that would act as a watertight barrier. SKB plans to submit two applications to Swedish environmental and nuclear authorities next year. A final government decision is expected in 2014.

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