22 Jun 2021

Finnish Nuclear Research Programme Status (KYT2022 and SAFIR2022)

Finland has two ongoing national research programmes in the nuclear sector: KYT2022 (Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Waste Management 2019–2022) and SAFIR2022 (Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Power Plant Safety 2019–2022). Both of these are funded mainly by the State Nuclear Waste Management Fund (VYR) and coordinated by VTT. On 18–19 March, the two research programmes held a joint Interim Seminar. This was the first time KYT and SAFIR arranged their seminars jointly in order to find synergies in different research topics as well as bring the research communities and stakeholders closer to each other.

The Interim Seminar was also unique in that it was arranged online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which allowed for more participants, including many international ones, to attend and the seminar had a record 450 participants. Although the main purpose of the seminar was for the KYT and SAFIR projects to present their results so far, the seminar also had international guest speakers such as Massimo Garribba from the European Commission, the Japanese Miyuki Akiba and Akitoshi Hotta, and Monika Adsten from Energiforsk and Allan Hedin from SKB. Nearly 550 publications have been published in the two programmes in their first two years, including 77 scientific journal articles and 150 conference articles. In addition, 14 new doctors who have done their thesis based on SAFIR or KYT projects have graduated.

The publications, reports and SAFIR2022 mid-term report and KYT2022 annual reports can be found on the programme's websites (http://safir2022.vtt.fi/ and http://kyt2022.vtt.fi/). The research topics vary by project but include themes such as overall safety, fuel and reactor studies, thermal hydraulics, multibarrier system performance, social license and many others. Figures 1 and 2 illustrate the main topics of the two programmes.


SAFIR2022 working time distributed by topic. © VTT
Figure 1: SAFIR2022 working time distributed by topic. © VTT


KYT2022 funding distribution by topic. © VTT
Figure 2: KYT2022 funding distribution by topic. © VTT


The recorded presentations from the Interim Seminar can be found at SAFIR2022 website: http://safir2022.vtt.fi//interimseminar2021.htm.

KYT2022 and SAFIR2022 will be the last research programmes of their kind, as it is planned that in 2023 a new research programme, SAFER2028 (Safety and waste management research), will replace them. SAFER will fund research for both nuclear power plants and nuclear waste management, and its operational period will be six years. VTT is involved in the planning group of the new programme.


Suvi Karvonen