The current waste management strategy foresees decentralised interim storage at the power plant sites, although there are centralised storage facilities at Ahaus and Gorleben. Radioactive waste will ultimately be disposed of in geological repositories.
Between 1971 and 1998, low- and intermediate-level waste was disposed of in the decommissioned Morsleben salt mine. The repository has been backfilled in recent years and closure is planned from 2014. The former Asse salt mine was used for test emplacement of radioactive waste from 1967 to 1978 and the Federal Office for Radiation Protection has been looking at potential decommissioning options for the facility since 2009. A construction licence has been granted by the Environment Ministry of Lower Saxony for a geological repository for waste with low heat production in the former Konrad iron ore mine. Following the decision of the Federal Government in 2007 to use the Konrad mine as a repository, work on converting the facility has now been initiated. Construction will continue until around 2019.
The Gorleben salt dome is under discussion as a potential geological repository for high-level radioactive waste. In 1986, work began on construction of an underground facility for investigating the suitability of the salt dome. The investigation activities were halted in 2000 and resumed in 2010 following a government resolution. However, the aim is to initiate a new site selection process.
www.bfs.de (Federal Office for Radiation Protection)
www.bmu.de (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety)
www.dbe.de (Company for the Construction and Operation of Waste Repositories)
Photographs available for downloading at «Service - Mediathek» on the BMU website.