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US News repository for nuclear waste: experts name 90 areas in Germany as suitable

12:10  28 september  2020
12:10  28 september  2020 Source:   ksta.de

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Germany decided to phase out all its nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Germany ’s Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy says it aims to find a final repository for highly As the name suggests, high-level radioactive waste is the most lethal of its kind. Next year the team hope to have identified potential storage sites in Germany (there are no plans to export the waste ).

Other areas of research in Germany have been less fortunate in the wake of the nuclear phase-out. “Funding for nuclear waste management research has Otherwise, German experts won’t be tapped for international committees that set NPP standards. But to stay competent, scientists must continue

Fässer mit Atommüll in einem Zwischenlager in Karlsruhe (Symbolbild) © picture alliance / dpa barrels with nuclear waste in an interim storage facility in Karlsruhe (symbol picture)

90 areas in Germany have favorable geological conditions for nuclear waste according to the knowledge of the Federal Association for Final Storage - Final storage. The Gorleben salt dome in Lower Saxony is not included, as the interim report published on Monday shows.

If one takes into account the overlay of some areas, according to the report in Germany a share of 54 percent of the land area is designated as a sub-area. Sub-areas are located in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Lower Saxony, but also in the eastern German states.

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Transuranic nuclear waste is waste contaminated by nuclear elements heavier than uranium, such as diluted plutonium. The United States has only one deep geologic repository for the disposal of defense-related transuranic waste —the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico.

A deep geological repository is a way of storing toxic or radioactive waste within a stable geologic environment (typically 200–1000 m deep).

Decision on storage location will probably only be made in the next few years. In the coming months and years, the possible locations will be gradually narrowed down by taking into account further criteria - such as population density.

Nevertheless, the debate about the final disposal of highly radioactive nuclear waste should get going - especially in the areas that are now to be examined more closely.

The repository is to be built underground in salt, clay or crystalline, i.e. above all granite. The location should be found in 2031, and containers with radioactive waste are to be stored underground from 2050.

First of all, the report lists all regions in Germany, "which are expected to have favorable geological conditions for the safe final storage of radioactive waste", as stipulated by the relevant law. That is why there are still quite a few and sometimes quite large areas. It will only become more specific in the years to come. So-called location regions are selected from the sub-areas, which are explored in more detail during the day. Some of them are then also explored underground.

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High-level nuclear waste consists largely of spent fuel from nuclear reactors. Though it makes up a small proportion of overall waste volumes, it Thus, Japan, with its seismic instability, is unlikely to have any suitable candidates for deep geological disposal. Like many countries, Japan is relying on

Nuclear waste is neither particularly hazardous nor hard to manage relative to other toxic industrial wastes . LLW does not require shielding during handling and transport, and is suitable for disposal in near surface facilities. LLW is generated from hospitals and industry, as well as the nuclear fuel cycle.

After a long period of trouble about the Gorleben salt dome, the search for a repository was completely restarted. Starting with a “white map”, on which every location is fundamentally possible, possible locations are now gradually narrowed down according to scientific criteria. In the end, however, politicians should then make the decision about the location - based on the scientific findings. Citizens, communities and organizations can get involved in the process through various formats.

Gorleben remains a dispute

Zoff was mainly about Gorleben, which had become a symbol of the anti-nuclear movement. Even before the report was published, some called for the salt dome to be excluded from the search as "politically burned". But the Bavarian state government has also caused anger because it questions the search process and insists that the underground in Bavaria is not suitable. Both put the principle of the “white map” into question, which is only gradually being narrowed down on the basis of measurable criteria.

The Greens, among others, insist on this principle, whose roots also lie in the anti-nuclear movement. "Now it's time for science to do it and it should be left to do it in peace," said Bundestag parliamentary group deputy Oliver Krischer of the dpa. In the Gorleben case, there was primarily a political decision. In the 1970s it was decided to set up a repository there. That is why "a region almost completely rebelled". (dpa)

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