The operators of Sellafield, BNFL, have been criticized
by both Nordic politicians and the international environmental movement
for promoting plans for Sweden to send further spent fuel to the UK
for treatment. In December 1998 the Swedish environment minister called
for an end to releases of radioactive substances into the sea in support
of the international agreement completed at Sintra in Portugal, in
July 1998, as part of the OSPAR commission on discharges to the marine
environment. Based on leaked official documents, Greenpeace Sweden
revealed in March 1999 the extent of the negotiations between UK and
Swedish authorities for new reprocessing contracts - to cover research
reactor fuel from R1 - which if implemented would undermine the official
policy of not separating out plutonium from Swedish spent fuel.
In December 1998 SKI received an application from SVAFO AB - a daughter
company of all the Swedish nuclear power operators - for a license
to export 4.8 tons of spent nuclear fuel from R1 to the UK. Wastes
from the reprocessing of the fuel should be sent back to Sweden. BNFL
has offered to exchange small amounts of additional high level waste
for larger volumes of intermediate and low level wastes ("Curie-Swap").
The Riksdag has on a number of occasions confirmed that Swedish nuclear
waste management must be directed toward storage, rather than reprocessing.
It has also been clearly stated that management of Swedish nuclear
waste must take place within the nation's boundaries. A decision by
Government is expected to be taken by autumn 1999.