In 1977, the privately owned Swedish waste management company, SKB, began studying a number of areas in different parts of Sweden to determine their suitability to host a geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel. Further investigation was recommended for those areas that had favorable geologic data and had permission from the land-owner to carry out such investigations. In 1985, SKB ended these investigations because of growing opposition and because the government asked it to.
In 1992, SKB sent a letter to all Swedish municipalities inviting interested parties to volunteer as host sites for a spent fuel repository. Two municipalities agreed to a feasibility study, but in both cases the subsequent referendum resulted in the municipality rejecting further participation. SKB then conducted further feasibility studies and identified five potentially promising sites. Three of these communities already contained nuclear facilities, and in 2001 the government approved SKB’s proposal to investigate the three sites further. Shortly thereafter, two of the three communities consented to these further investigations. One of those sites, Forsmark near the municipality of Östhammar, was selected in 2009 because of its geologic characteristics. In March 2011, SKB submitted a construction application for the repository; operations are anticipated to begin in 2025.