German agencies to collaborate on repositories

24 August 2018

Germany's federal radioactive waste company, BGE, has signed an agreement with the country's geoscientific authority, BGR, to cooperate on site selection investigations for a high-level waste repository, as well as on the management of existing waste repositories.

Thomas Lautsch, Technical Manager BGE, Chairman of the BGE Management Ewold Seeba, Ralph Watzel, President BGR, and Gerhard Enste, Head of Department BGR at the signing of the agreement (Image: BGE)

The agreement was signed on 22 August by Ewold Seeba, Acting Chairman of the Board of the Federal Company for Radioactive Waste Disposal (Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung, BGE), Thomas Lautsch, Technical Director of the BGE, and Ralph Watzel, President of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, BGR).

The agreement will run for the duration of the repository site selection process, as specified by the Law on the Search and Selection of a Site for a Repository for High Level Waste (the Site Selection Act - StandAG). It will also apply to the transfer of tasks under the Atomic Energy Act for the construction, operation and decommissioning of the Morsleben and Konrad sites, as well as the decommissioning of the Asse II mine.

As part of the site selection collaboration, BGR will investigate specific issues on behalf of BGE in its search for a suitable location to host a facility for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste. In addition, BGR will conduct research and development work on behalf of BGE.

In April 2017, the operator responsibilities for the Asse II mine as well as the Konrad and Morsleben repositories were transferred from the Federal Office for Radiation Protection to BGE. BGE - which falls under the Federal Ministry for the Environment - is also responsible for implementing the site selection procedure for repository sites for mainly high-level radioactive waste.

The StandAG stipulates a multi-phase search for a site with the best possible safety precautions and the full participation of the public, especially in the regions where the sites will be located.

BGR is the central geoscientific authority providing advice to the German Federal Government in all geo-relevant questions. It is subordinate to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News