Jul 11, 2016

Germany may wait 100 years for nuclear waste facility

Germany will begin searching next year for a site for its nuclear waste storage facility, but it may take more than 100 years to get a secure facility up and running, to bury all of the country's growing pile of nuclear waste, Kallanish Energy learns.

After two years of research, a parliamentary commission put together to propose a solution for the problem of radioactive storage following the country's decision to phase out nuclear energy by 2022, said Tuesday the time frame is still considered "ambitious."

"The German Bundestag is due, according to current estimates, to start searching for an optimal secure place in 2017," the nearly 700-page report stated. "Decades will pass before the waste can be buried and possibly more than a century before this process ends."

The government had initially planned to find a suitable place to build the storage facility by 2031, which was scheduled to open in 2050. However, leading committee member Michael Muller said it would be logistically impossible to meet such targets.

A potential site is the waste facility in Gorleben, in Lower-Saxony state. However, the report said no decision was made with regards to this site, adding other places were under consideration.

Following the nuclear incident at Fukushima, in Japan, Germany decided in 2011 to shut down all nuclear reactors, leaving the country with a pressing need to find storage for its atomic waste.