On November 1st 2008, a new ordinance came into force in Sweden. It extends the implementation of nuclear liability to all nuclear facilities and companies, regardless of size. The Government has authorized the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) to issue further regulation as warranted and appropriate, and commissioned the same Authority to oversee the implementation. Consequently, SSM is presently conducting research in order to establish a basis for the implementation of the ordinance to smaller facilities and enterprises. The goal is to enable finance to be assured in an efficient manner so that any burden on the companies is as small as possible. Thus, “functional requirements” are identified, and used as a basis for various investigations. The aspects include technical and cost calculation prerequisites, as well as various domains of law: the environmental code, radiation and nuclear safety, financial reporting, and criminal law. It is found that the basis for the differentiation among the facility operators and owners should be the cost and the associated uncertainty. Thus, a cost calculation will have to be carried out by all. It should be based on available standards and guidance documents. It is found that this is a requirement that already exists elsewhere in the legislation, and thus no additional burden is imposed on the companies. It is found that segregated funds is the preferred option for long-term liabilities. Securities are suitable for short-term liabilities provided that the economy of the company in question is sound. Securities might also be used for long-term liabilities to cover uncertainty. It is proposed that a de minimis limit of at least kSEK 25 (about k€ 2, 4 and k$ 3, 4) is used. An important reason for this is that lower limits might be incompatible with the rules for financial reporting. It is also proposed that securities might be used also for long-term commitments if the total environmental liability does not exceed 1,00 MSEK (about k€ 96 and k$ 135). It is found that the “general advice” that must be used by smaller companies lacks proper instructions on how to account for environmental liability whilst at the same time it prohibits the use of e g the international reporting standards IFRS/IAS. It is also found that the “general advice” prohibits distribution of costs for research and development over time. This might be incompatible with a fund system where considerable research may be necessary at the early stages of the work and often many years before the actual decommissioning is to take place. The rules in the penal code require that an annual report presents an “essentially correct financial situation”. One of the interpretations to this statement is that a deviance of at most 30% might be tolerated. Although previous work has indicated that the error in cost estimates need not be higher than about 15%, even for research facilities, concealed cost raisers may from time to time lead to much larger errors, even when best practices are being used. It is therefore essential that decommissioning planning and cost predictions are made in accordance with state of the art, and that the estimating methods as well as the results are properly documented.

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