In principle, the current agreement between the German Federal and State Governments is to be welcomed since its aim is to find a non-partisan solution to the decades old, politically open question regarding the final disposal of high active waste. As regards content, it should be particularly emphasized that the Gorleben salt dome is to remain in the selection process as a potential location because none of the scientific results obtained so far argue against this salt dome.
Nevertheless, the current agreement still also leaves many questions open. It is proposed that an Enquete Commission will clarify key aspects in the coming years. The operators are basically prepared to contribute their extensive expertise to the work of this Commission.
According to the current legal position, the operators must bear their share of the necessary expenditure for the appropriate and safe final repository for heat-generating radioactive waste that is to be implemented by the Federal Government. The operators are standing by this obligation. Accordingly, over EUR 1.6 billion has already been invested in investigation of the Gorleben salt dome. In our legal view, there is no basis for operators to accept additional costs resulting from alternative site explorations prior to a final evaluation of Gorleben’s suitability.
In addition, the intention is for waste from reprocessing to be stored in future at locations in Germany other than the Gorleben interim storage facility. The DAtF is convinced that Germany has a very good solution in the Gorleben interim storage facility and the associated technical infrastructure. So far the operators have not been included in the deliberations of politicians who wish to deviate from this in the future. In this respect, we welcome the announcements made today by Federal Minister for the Environment Altmaier of wishing to approach the operators in the near future.
The DAtF is relying on the fact that the German Federal and State Governments will wish to discuss any questions which are unresolved even after the current agreement in a constructive dialogue with the operators in order to arrive at responsible and target-oriented solutions.