Nuclear waste timetable: search for repository takes longer than until 2031


delay in schedule
Environment Ministry announces: Search for nuclear waste repository will take longer than until 2031

A street sign ·To the nuclear power plant· on a driveway to the former nuclear power plant in Würgassen

A street sign ·To the nuclear power plant· on a driveway to the former nuclear power plant in Würgassen

© Friso Gentsch / DPA

It had already become apparent in the past few weeks that the schedule could falter. The Ministry of the Environment, as the supreme nuclear regulator, has now confirmed that the search for a nuclear waste repository will not be completed in nine years.

The search for one repository for German nuclear waste will be delayed beyond the target date of 2031, according to the Federal Environment Ministry. As the ministry explained on Thursday when asked by dpa, the process “cannot be completed by 2031, taking into account the high requirements for selecting the location with the best possible security”. Up to now, Germany wanted to have determined the site for the disposal of its high-level radioactive waste. The “Ostsee-Zeitung” had already reported delays in the schedule a few days ago, citing the Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BASE).

In its confirmation of the date, which can no longer be maintained, the Ministry of Steffi Lemke (Greens) relies on a paper from the Bundesgesellschaft für EndRepository mbH (BGE), which is entrusted with the search for a repository. In this paper, “for the first time, time corridors for all phases of the site selection process are presented, taking into account deadline risks and potential for acceleration,” it said. It concludes that time specifications should also be subordinate to the principle of the best possible security Ministry of Environment.

Search for nuclear waste repository difficult for years

The search for a repository for the in Germany Highly radioactive waste caused by this has been difficult for years. Despite tough procedures, a location should be fixed by 2031. From 2050 the repository should be put into operation. The so-called Site Selection Act explicitly states: “The aim is to determine the site for the year 2031.”

To the delay BASE, which oversees the search for a repository in Germany, said on Thursday in response to a dpa request: “The project developer commissioned with the search – the Bundesgesellschaft für EndRepository (BGE) mbH – has not yet submitted a plan to BASE as the supervisor of the selection process , how he can carry out what is indeed a comprehensive procedure within the remaining nine years.”

The Federal Ministry for the Environment explained that it is now in talks with the company responsible for the site search and BASE about the further course of events and the conclusions from the overtaken Time schedule will pull.

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