The Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung (BGE) is a federally owned company that is responsible, on behalf of the federal government, for the permanent storage of radioactive waste deep underground. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) is a partner in the BGE on behalf of the federal government. In July 2016, the BGE was founded through a merger of the repository divisions of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) as well as the operating companies known as Asse-GmbH and the Deutsche Gesellschaft zum Bau und Betrieb von Endlagern für Abfallstoffe (DBE). Its headquarters are located in the town of Peine, Lower Saxony.
Tasks and projects
As well as being responsible for the final disposal of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste, the BGE is searching for the site that offers the best possible safety for a million years for high-level radioactive waste in Germany in accordance with the requirements of the Repository Site Selection Act. The BGE is tasked with decommissioning the Asse II mine in the district of Wolfenbüttel without delay, albeit following retrieval of the low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste that is currently stored there after being placed in the mine between 1967 and 1979.
The BGE is currently building the Konrad repository in Salzgitter. Due to enter operation in the 2030s, this facility will be the first repository for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste to be licensed under nuclear law in Germany. Before waste is emplaced, the BGE’s product control department will check the delivered containers, whether the radioactive waste is packaged according to the applicable final disposal conditions, and whether the waste is held in approved containers.
The BGE is also preparing for the decommissioning of the Morsleben repository in Saxony-Anhalt, leaving the low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste stored there in place, as well as the decommissioning of the Gorleben mine in Lower Saxony. It informs the general public of all projects, work and progress – for example on its websites bge.de and einblicke.de (German only), in publications, at conferences and events, and on social media.
The BGE is represented by three managing directors: Stefan Studt (Chair of the Management Board) and Dr Thomas Lautsch (Technical Managing Director). The Management Board of the BGE is advised and monitored by the Supervisory Board, which was appointed by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) for a period of four years. The chairman of the Supervisory Board is Parliamentary State Secretary Christian Kühn.
Other companies abroad – e.g. in Switzerland, France, Sweden or Finland – are also searching for safe repositories for nuclear waste. Collaboration with organisations and authorities outside Germany allows the BGE to closely follow the state of the art of science and technology at the international level. For example, the BGE is represented at the technical level in various committees of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The BGE exchanges information on the state and application of knowledge and technology in national and international cooperation projects, as well as participating in research projects at the national and international level.
- The BGE is responsible for the final disposal of radioactive waste in Germany
- It was founded in July 2016
- The BGE exchanges information as part of national and international cooperation projects
- The BGE participates in research projects at the national and international level