Dear Minister Trittin,
After the closure of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection`s Information Centre on Nuclear Waste Management in Gartow a few months ago, public information at the Konrad mine and the exploratory mine at Gorleben is now also to be drastically cut back.
As I have learned, Wolfram König, the President of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection subordinate to your ministry, has ordered that from now on only one group of visitors per week will be allowed to tour the Konrad and Gorleben mines. This stands in sharp contrast to your own principles of transparency, openness and involvement. The information of the general public is an essential condition for achieving broad acceptance for a repository of radioactive waste in Germany, as has been demanded by yourself. The public must be given the opportunity to a reasonable extent to access the knowledge acquired by repository research. The approach practiced so far has proved its worth. Last year alone, around 4000 visitors came to look around the Gorleben exploratory mine. This number confirms the large interest and the considerable need for information among many people in our country. The recent instruction issued by your subordinate authority suggests the assumption that the public is to be denied access to information concerning the suitability of the Gorleben site, about which there is no doubt if one looks at all the results available so far. I therefore urgently ask you to make sure that the instruction to restrict access to the site is withdrawn and that the former practice is resumed.
Berlin, 4 June 2003
Dr. iur. Gert Maichel
President of the German Atomic Forum e.V.