Germany publishes the map of areas suitable for radioactive waste disposal

Thursday 1 October 2020

Germany publishes the map of areas suitable for radioactive waste disposal

The speech by the director of ISIN at Radio Colonia

The list of areas potentially suitable for the construction of a depot for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste has been published in Germany. The Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung (BGE), the federal body responsible for waste disposal in Germany, has in fact reported 90 sites distributed in almost all German Länder, mainly located in Bavaria and Schleswig-Holstein.

As foreseen in the federal law of 2013, called the “Site Selection Act”, this is the first step of a long procedure which, in its decision-making process, also provides for the participation of the public.

In accordance with the law, the BGE carried out an investigation on the three types of geological formations (crystalline rocks, clayey rocks and salt formations) deemed suitable for the deep disposal of radioactive waste, in order to identify those formations that are sufficiently uniform and extensive and on which to carry out further investigations.

The map shows that more than 54% of the German territory offers a type of geological formation that could be suitable for the creation of a deep repository of high-activity radioactive waste but this, as mentioned, is only the first step: a public debate and a series of in-depth investigations to verify the suitability of the identified areas and restrict those suitable, applying further geoscientific criteria of exclusion (characteristics of stability and uniformity, hydrochemical parameters, etc ..).

The goal is to arrive at the choice of the suitable site in 2031 and the operation of the deposit for 2050.

The German procedure is very similar to the procedure underway in Italy for the identification of the CNAPI for the purpose of selecting the site of the National Deposit. The substantial difference is that, while in Germany a suitable site is sought for the disposal of radioactive waste of high activity in deep geological formation, in Italy the selection is aimed at a site for a surface deposit for the disposal of low and medium waste activities.

At the link, the interview by Radio Colonia with Maurizio Pernice, director of ISIN, regarding the urgency, also for Italy, of identifying a suitable site to host the National Repository.




Last update: Thursday 1 October 2020