The waste from nuclear power plants is one of the most dangerous environmental toxins ever created by humans.
The Swedish nuclear power industry has been working since the 1970s to find a solution to the problem of how to deal with these wastes. This work has been carried out by a joint owned waste company – SKB AB (Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company).
This company is now working in the Östhammar and Oskarshamn municipalities to find a site they consider suitable for a final repository for spent nuclear fuel.
Oss is a local public opinion and environmental group in Östhammar that is monitoring and examining the project and, in contrast to SKB, is working to find the best solution from an environmental perspective.
The Public Opinion Group for Safe Final Storage of Radioactive Waste (Oss) was formed in 1996 in conjunction with a decision to include the municipality of Östhammar as a possible site for the eventual establishment of a final repository for spent nuclear fuel.
Oss’ ambition is to critically examine the project to find out whether the dangerous radioactive waste will be taken care of using the best method from an environmental perspective and to ensure that the site chosen provides the best possible protection for the environment and for generations to come.
Oss is a non-profit association with no political or religious affiliation and which according to its statutes works to:
- rouse public opinion in favour of the best method of handling Swedish radioactive waste from an environmental perspective,
- critically examine the project and the waste company’s activities in the municipality of Östhammar,
- ensure that a complete environmental impact assessment is carried out,
- develop competence in the area of nuclear waste, and
- carry out work in the area of information and raising awareness.
For this work, Oss has received economic support from the national Kärnavfallsfond (Nuclear Waste Fund) via the municipality of Östhammar.
The Oss Board members are Kenneth Gunnarsson (chairperson), Guy Madison, Inga Alm, Inger Nord, Christina Larsson, Bo-Lennart Janervärn and Miles Goldstick.
The Oss Position
The Public Opinion Group for Safe Final Storage of Radioactive Waste (Oss) wants a solution to the issue of final storage of nuclear waste. Our position is that sustainable development and long-term protection for people and the environment must fully determine the choice of method and site. After almost ten years of work with the issue, we can however ascertain that the nuclear power industry’s project for final storage for low, medium and highly radioactive nuclear waste from the Swedish nuclear power plants is marred by many weaknesses and uncertainties. To provide the nuclear waste project with the required necessary credibility, we therefore believe that:
- Environmental legislation’s goals with regard to sustainable development and an ecocycle perspective be applied to the final storage project.
- The government must present clear directives with regard to whether spent nuclear fuel should be regarded as a waste that should have a final storage and be rendered inaccessible for dispersion, or if it should be regarded as a resource and be stored so that it is recoverable and available to future generations.
- Clear performance stipulations based on current environmental legislation and long-term environmental goals must be drawn up for the project.
- As there are so many environmentally related uncertainties with the chosen KBS 3 method, with reference to the precautionary principle, further development by SKB AB should be stopped and resources should be invested to develop comparable bases for alternative methods that make it possible to choose the best available technology (BAT) from an environmental perspective.
- After a systematic selection process has been used to select the best choice from an environmental perspective, the process for choosing a site must be expanded to include more municipalities than Östhammar and Oskarshamn in order to ensure that a reasonable opportunity exists to choose the best site from an environmental perspective.
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