Going underground in Sweden, past-present-future
Paper in proceedings, 2013
Traditionally, utilization of underground space is well known in Sweden through a wide range of applications in the past, in projects presently in use or under construction as well as projects planned for future needs. The paper touches on many important topics such as; environment, reasons for going underground, geotechnical and rock engineering, underground transport systems, industrial and commercial applications, utilization of underground space and case studies and special projects. For cities with dramatic topography or with dense population, the underground space is utilized in Sweden for official services to the community like water and sewage treatment plants in caverns and tunnels. Often the surface area above the facility is developed as residence or industrial areas. Storing foodstuffs is an operation that can benefit considerably from the properties of the rock, and there arc many historic examples showing that people have long known how to make use of the constant low temperatures prevailing underground. Cooled storage has, after the initial cooling, low energy consumption, which is the case for e.g. storage of ice-cream or other deep frozen products. Efficient and safe underground storage solutions for energy, e.g. oil, LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas), CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) or hot water arc examples of good applications to communities. Also, a development on how to design and construct a repository for spent nuclear fuel has been going on for many years. Now the site selection process is completed and authorization process together with planning is ongoing. The underground creates possibilities to solve the traditional problems of congestion, environment and safety for the Swedish road and railroad systems in urban areas. Several projects have been fulfilled and arc in the planning phase even if both technical and logistical challenges arc large. Copyright © 2013 by The Society for Rock Mechanics & Engineering Geology.