Conclude Investigation of the Gorleben Salt Dome Speedily and Without Prejudice

Berlin, 16.02.2011

The German Atomic Forum welcomes the proposal made by the Federal German Ministry for the Environment during the dialogue about Gorleben. The proposal calls for the creation of a process of dialogue and participation regarding further investigation of the Gorleben salt dome as a possible final repository for heat-generating radioactive waste.

However, a recent statement allegedly made by the Federal German Minister for the Environment could prove to be a source of irritation. Federal Minister Röttgen has been quoted in a national daily newspaper as saying the following at a public meeting of the county council in Lüchow-Dannenberg on February 14, "The aim of the investigation is to prove Gorleben´s unsuitability."

From the German Atomic Forum´s point of view, this statement was inappropriate. The aim of resuming investigation of the salt dome in Gorleben is to create the necessary data basis for the salt dome´s suitability test. Therefore, a multi-stage process should be conducted quickly and without prejudice to examine whether Gorleben is suitable as a final repository.

So far nothing there has been nothing to indicate that the salt dome is unsuitable. Federal Minister Röttgen has pointed out several times that so far all the scientific results of the exploration have been positive. Federal German Chancellor Schröder and former Federal German Minister for the Environment Trittin have also confirmed this explicitly. As part of the national mission to provide a final repository, it is surely not prejudicial to outline the positive results in respect of suitability that have been gathered so far once and to reiterate them during the dialogue process.

The Federal German government is still under obligation. The only way to create a clear picture of the salt dome´s suitability and by doing so also to provide clarity for the local population is to conclude the investigation.

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