The National Nuclear Safety and Waste Management Research Programme 2023-2028, SAFER2028, is being launched on 9 June, when the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment presents a Framework Plan to the researcher community at a seminar in Otaniemi in Espoo. SAFER2028 supports the safe use of nuclear energy in Finland.
SAFER2028 is a six-year research programme for financing nuclear energy and nuclear waste management. the programme gets its funding from the National Nuclear Waste Management Fund (VYR) and from research organisations taking part in the programme. Total funding of SAFER2028 exceeds EUR10 million a year and it is estimated that more than 150 researchers, as well as students working on their theses, from nearly ten Finnish universities, research institutes, and companies will be taking part in the research. The Chair of the Management Team of SAFER2028 will be Tomi Routamo, Deputy Director of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, and the administration of the programme will be coordinated by VTT.
SAFER2028 brings together two previous programmes – the Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Waste Management (KYT2022) and the Finnish Research Programme on Nuclear Power Plant Safety (SAFIR2022). The aim of combining the two is both to create synergy between the areas of research and to expand the research to areas which previously fell between the two programmes, such as interim storage of spent nuclear fuel.
The results of the research programme are to be used in the work of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Finnish power companies, and Posiva. The goal of the research programme is to ensure that authorities in Finland have sufficient skills and knowledge both now and in the future, also in unexpected situations.
A planning group appointed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment worked on writing the Framework Plan for SAFER2028 for more than a year, and the Framework Plan is to be presented to the research community at a seminar to be held in Otaniemi in Espoo on 9 June. The first call for proposals of the programme that is open to all will be held in the autumn of 2022.