A geological disposal programme is a massive undertaking that involves a wide range of activities and spans over a long period of time. The solution must comply with detailed and specific requirements, and its development comprises many interdependent disciplines.
Overarching programme management is therefore crucial to ensure that the right decisions are taken at the appropriate time, and that underpinning knowledge is developed that enables company management or external decision-makers, such as regulating authorities or politicians, to take the necessary decisions when they are needed. In addition, the right programme management enables the implementing organisation to identify programme risks and challenges that need to be dealt with to avoid delays or unplanned pauses.
SKB has in-depth knowledge on how to carry out a geological disposal programme and the important decision-making points and priorities that are required of an implementing organisation. The Swedish nuclear waste management programme has been ongoing since the 1980s and has resulted in a significant catalogue of experiences and lessons learned that we know would be of worth to other countries.
In parallel with the national programme, SKB has been engaged in international collaboration projects and assignments for various peer organisations around the world, giving important insights into common issues and challenges in geological disposal programmes. This knowledge is useful, regardless of the kind of repository being developed: even though the Swedish spent fuel repository will be built in a crystalline host rock, SKB’s methodology and technology are largely applicable to both sedimentary and even evaporate host geologies. SKB’s knowledge will thus be useful to a peer organisation, regardless of waste types and disposal site. Most importantly, SKB will bring to the table the role of a peer and a “critical friend” that will help the client in its task of carrying out efficient programme management and delivering robust and appropriate business cases.
Examples of previous activities we have engaged in to support other organisations:
- Overall programme peer review to evaluate readiness for transition to next phase
- Siting programme strategies and plans
- Risk management methodology and workshops
- Cost calculation methodology, cost reviews
- Requirements management
- Strategic competence management
- Optioneering studies to save time, cost and reduce programme risks
- Communication strategies and tools