Role of the host communities in final disposal of spent nuclear fuel in Finland and Sweden

Mika Kari, Matti Kojo, Markku Lehtonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Finland and Sweden are the countries with the most advanced plans for final disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF). Both countries have also been evoked as good examples in the use of a 'partnering' approach, designed to achieve both a licensable site supported by the community and a balance between fair representation and competent participation. While both are consensus-driven high-trust societies, with similar technological concept for SNF disposal, and whose licensing processes have advanced at a fairly similar pace, their nuclear waste policies also differ from each other in certain key aspects. One difference concerns the role of the communities in siting and licensing of the repositories. The paper examines 1) the background for this differentiation, 2) how local final disposal organizations in the host communities, Eurajoki and Östhammar, took shape and evolved, and 3) how differences between the organizations illustrate the divergence between the Finnish and Swedish approaches to stakeholder engagement. While the Swedish approach can be characterized as 'involved partnership' – which shapes the operating environment for the implementer and authorities by challenging and even modifying policies and actions – the Finnish case could be described as a 'bystander partnership' characterized by trust in safety authorities, with community economics as the primary concern.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103632
JournalProgress in Nuclear Energy
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Communities
  • Final disposal
  • Finland
  • Municipalities
  • Nuclear waste
  • Partnership
  • Spent nuclear fuel
  • Sweden

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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