Approaching large-scale nuclear decommissioning projects in the Nordic countries makes it important for both regulators and operators to build new capabilities for handling up-coming challenges. Sweden has the most urgent need for building up large-scale national capability for Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) decommissioning in order to respond to national decisions resulting in shutdown plans for seven units in the country. Finland is preparing detailed plans for removing the active containment of the Otaniemi research reactor. Experience from decommissioning of research reactors lies primarily with Denmark, but there is also some experience in Sweden and Norway. All countries can benefit from a more mature and integrated approach to decommissioning that utilizes more thorough planning to identify the future needs of the organisation and makes it possible to plan for the resources needed to handle upcoming challenges.
The results of the survey in the previous phase of the project clearly identified a general need for informal platforms where Nordic countries can exchange more practical experience and work more closely together. Due to closer physical and cultural proximity and some similarities in national framework among these countries, such a forum would further facilitate development of national capabilities for nuclear decommissioning in these countries. It would be very advantageous to be able to continue Nordic exchange and communication also after the project is finalised.
The key Nordic general decommissioning challenge areas that the project has found to be the most important are the following:
· Developing and maintaining competence and motivation
· Regulatory decision-making and oversight
· Safe and effective waste characterization and clearance
· Planning and management of site modification and dismantling
· Collaboration and information sharing between stakeholders
· Establishing common legislation and guidance
In 2018 work meetings and workshops will be held to discuss the Nordic decommissioning challenges. Opportunities and models for establishing a platform enhancing Nordic collaboration will be discussed and new concepts related to the challenges will be presented. An open workshop is planned in Lillehammer in December 2018.