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In 1983, Finland issued a major policy decision on the management of SNF and set a schedule and process to be used for selecting a final repository site. This schedule called for repository construction to begin in 2010 and for waste acceptance to begin in 2020. The process required the consent of the host municipality, and gave these municipalities veto power over the final selection of a site. A country-wide screening was followed by preliminary site investigations, which was in turn followed by detailed site investigations and environmental impact assessments for four sites.

All four sites were found suitable for spent fuel disposal in terms of long-term safety and geology, so the final decision was based on acceptance, economic, and development considerations. Olkiluoto, near the community of Eurajoki, was selected as the repository site by Posiva Oy, a private corporation jointly owned by nuclear power producers. By 2000, both the Eurajoki municipal and the Finnish Government approved the decision to move forward with the repository at Olkiluoto. An underground research tunnel was constructed in 2004 for the purpose of conducting detailed site characterization studies. On December 28, 2012, Posiva Oy submitted a license application for construction of the repository.