Announcement - Asse II mine

01 December 2017: Concept planning for the retrieval of the radioactive waste located on the 725 metre and 750 metre level

Since May 2015, the Working Group for Retrieval Concept Planning (Arge KR) is working on a concept for the retrieval of the radioactive waste located in 12 emplacement chambers at the 725 metre and 750 metre level in the Asse II mine. This work is performed on behalf of the BGE. The Arge KR is a consortium of four companies: Uniper Anlagenservice GmbH (who plays a leading role), Deilmann-Haniel GmbH, ERCOSPLAN Ingenieurgesellschaft Geotechnik und Bergbau mbH and TÜV Rheinland Industrie Service GmbH.

The concept planning for the retrieval of the radioactive waste located on the 725 metre and 750 metre level has been split up into 13 work packages. With respect to the waste located on the 725 metre level, the concept planning will probably be finalized in 2018, for the waste on the 750 metre level in 2019.

  • Work package 1: Planning framework and boundary conditions - accomplished
  • Work package 2: Working concept and project schedule - accomplished
  • Work package 3: Safety and proof concept strategy - in progress
  • Work package 4: Catalogue of criteria and assessment standards - accomplished
  • Work package 5: Procedural steps - accomplished
  • Work package 6: Draft concepts - accomplished
  • Work package 7: Selection of 2-3 concepts - in progress
  • Work package 8: Refinement of the selected draft concepts - in progress
  • Work package 9: Agreement on the version to be finalized
  • Work package 10: Concept planning/elaboration of the preferred concept
  • Work package 11: Safety and proof concept
  • Work package 12: Scheduling
  • Work package 13: Cost calculation

Work package 1: Interim report Planning framework (18 December 2015)

This document is currently being prepared for publication.

The report summarizes the defined planning framework. It is based on the existing literature referring to the mine. Data, facts and other pieces of information that are contained in the literature and are essential for the further concept planning were taken into account.

The planning framework includes, for example, information about the current condition of the emplacement chambers: The report specifies the knowledge on radioactive inventory, position and geometry of the chambers and the emplacement techniques used in each case. The current condition is extrapolated to the time of retrieval. In fact, the experts assume that, in some chambers, the waste containers will be destroyed due to the rock pressure by then.

Work package 2: Working concept and project schedule (25 September 2015)

This document was already published.

The report presents an overview of the project structure and gives more detailed information on the individual work packages. The aim is to ensure a structured approach to the implementation of the following work packages.

Link to the document

Work package 3: Safety and proof concept strategy

This work package is in progress. A final report is not yet available.

Work package 4: Catalogue of criteria and assessment standards (30 August 2016)

This document was already published.

This report defines the assessment standards to be used for the assessment of the different concepts for the retrieval of the radioactive waste. On this basis, a catalogue of criteria will be set up that will help to select a method of retrieval within the ongoing procedure. For example, the assessment criteria “collective dose” and “inadvertent dispersion of radioactive substances” will play an important role under the aspect of radiation protection, the required time will be important under technical aspects and the structural stability of the mine will be a relevant criterium under the aspect of mine safety.

Link to the document

Work package 5 Procedural steps (30 August 2016) - new publication

This report defines the prerequisites for the beginning of the retrieval and divides the task into three phases, each of them being again divided into individual procedural steps.

The prerequisites for the retrieval of the waste include the necessary licenses, the operability of shaft 5 and the retrieval technique.

Phase 1 includes all the activities to be performed before the retrieval, such as the construction of galleries and of locks below ground. Phase 2 includes the retrieval activities, such as opening the chambers and retrieving the radioactive waste. Phase 3 describes the activities to be performed after the retrieval, such as the disassembly of the technical installations and the backfilling of cavities in the mine.

Link to the document

Work package 6 Draft concepts (16 December 2016) - new publication

This report describes draft concepts for the retrieval of the radioactive waste. The report categorises emplacement chambers having identical or similar characteristics into groups. Potential retrieval techniques are then to be selected per group. Retrieval techniques will be developed and assessed with respect to the possibility of approval according to mining law and atomic law. The report also outlines aspects of the retrieval technique, the lock technology and the infrastructure.

Within the subsequent work package 07, expedient procedures will be selected, which will then be refined within work package 08.

Link to the document

Emplacement chambers at the 750 metre level (cutaway drawing)