DAtF: Don't Forget the Timely Provision of a Final Repository in the Law Governing the Selection of a Site for Final Disposal (“Endlagersuchgesetz”)

Berlin, 17.08.2012

The DAtF welcomes the remarks made by Federal Minister for the Environment Peter Altmaier on 16 August 2012 referring to pushing ahead with a solution to the question of a final repository. This applies particularly to the federal government's provision of a final repository for high active waste (HAW) taking into account the Gorleben site, and also to the dialogue with all those affected locally, including elected local councillors.

However, none of those involved in the legislation process must be allowed to lose sight of the current generation’s huge responsibility for the timely provision of a final repository. This also includes swift commissioning of the “Konrad mine” final repository for low and medium active residual materials. This is urgently necessary keeping in mind the need for timely and efficient dismantling of decommissioned nuclear power plants.

With an eye to the selection of the final repository for HAW, the DAtF considers that keeping open the Gorleben exploration mine - with all the legal and administrative measures required for this on the government’s side - and conclusion of the preliminary safety analysis for the Gorleben site are of key importance. The preliminary safety analysis is supposed to bring together the scientific results of the exploration of the Gorleben site which is relatively close to completion.

Unfortunately, the federal government has still not submitted a detailed time schedule for commissioning of a HAW repository in Germany. There are no scientific or technical findings to date that argue against the Gorleben site's suitability. If, after completion of the unprejudiced exploration of the Gorleben salt dome, its suitability was also to be confirmed in the subsequent planning permission procedure, then there might actually be a chance that a HAW repository would be available in around 2035. As long as there is no conclusive expert statement regarding suitability of the Gorleben site, it is impossible in the selection of a final repository to consider a new search for a final repository as necessary effort and expenditure.

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