17 Aug 2020

VTT’s contribution to the Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Waste Management (KYT2022)

KYT2022 main research areas (© VTT).

Coordinated public research programmes on nuclear waste management have been active in Finland since 1989. They have been devoted to serving the research needs of Finnish nuclear authorities. The current research programme (from 2019 to 2022) is called KYT2022 (http://kyt2022.vtt.fi/). VTT coordinates the research programme as well as a number of most central research projects and also contributes to a number of individual research projects. 
The KYT2022 research areas are categorized as (1) Safety of nuclear waste management, (2) Feasibility of nuclear waste management, and (3) Acceptability of nuclear waste management.

  • For the Safety topic, the research topics include e.g. engineered barrier system performance and corrosion. The focus is on interactions between rock and bentonite and phenomena occurring in the buffer in transient phase as well as copper and steel corrosion and the effect of microbes on it. Corrosion mechanisms such as the effect of the oxide layer or sulphide induced stress corrosion are studied. Spent fuel research includes topics such as microstructure studies and characterizing the effect of uncertainties in data on the source term.
  • For the Feasibility topic, there are some new research subjects to KYT2022 relative to earlier programmes such as decommissioning related research focusing on e.g. difficult to measure nuclides and the effects of radiation on concrete. Surface repositories and their safety arguments are also introduced as a new research topic.
  • Acceptability related research focuses on social license studies and media analysis in Finland and France. These are done outside of VTT.

KYT2022 research priorities are derived mainly from the needs of Finnish nuclear waste management actors and the international review of the previous KYT2018 programme. The research work is carried out also outside of VTT in e.g. Finnish universities.
The KYT-programme is overseen by Finnish authorities; the Steering Group and all three Support Groups are chaired by either STUK or MEAE. The research is currently done at VTT, Finnish universities and Geological Survey of Finland. The volume of KYT2022 is approximately  3,6 M€/a including infrastructure development; in addition research organisations have funded their projects altogether by around 1 M€/a.
Currently KYT2022 is in its second year and the joint midterm seminar with SAFIR2022 programme is scheduled for March 2021. 


Suvi Karvonen
KYT2022 Programme Coordinator