May 17, 2021 13:48 UTC
  • About 3,000 barrels of nuclear radioactive waste misplaced in Sweden

Nearly 3,000 barrels of “life-threatening” nuclear waste have reportedly been misplaced in Sweden, raising concerns about potential environmental impacts and prompting calls for an urgent re-inspection of the radioactive material.

According to Press TV, a stock control inspection has recently found that 2,800 barrels containing historical radioactive waste from the 1970s and 1980s were stored incorrectly in a warehouse in Forsmark, Uppland County.

The Forsmark nuclear plant and repository, located some 100 kilometers north of Stockholm, contains over 30,000 cubic meters of radioactive waste.

While the material is believed not to pose a threat to humans or nature today, it could very well do so in the future if placed and handled incorrectly.

Speaking to the national broadcaster SVT, Peter Selting, Safety Manager at the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company, said that “the long-term safety is based on the right waste being placed in the right final repository.”

In order to ensure that the radioactive content is not harmful to people or the environment, the barrels must now be thoroughly inspected and repositioned, he said.

That is a very costly and time-consuming plan, and it is not clear who will pay for it.

“There are discussions going on about how the cost should be distributed between the parties, I don't even want to anticipate that discussion,” Selting said.

The news of the misplaced radioactive barrels has angered Environment and Climate Minister Per Bolund.

Condemning the negligence as “irresponsible,” Bolund told SVT that “this is an example of how incredibly serious it can get when you fail to properly take care of life-threatening waste.”