Main topic: Completion of the Konrad repository
Project Konrad is a highly complex and extensive construction project. Nuclear law imposes stringent safety requirements and serves as the benchmark for activities during construction of the Konrad repository.
In 1984, the Federal Republic of Germany signed a non-terminable cooperation agreement with the Deutsche Gesellschaft zum Bau und Betrieb von Endlagern für Abfallstoffe (DBE) and commissioned the company to plan and construct the German repositories. As the representative of the federal government, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) (the operator) was bound to the DBE (the operating company) by this cooperation agreement. In terms of the specifics of project management, this has often led to different interpretations of competences and responsibilities.
Restructuring measures were implemented by means of the Act on the Reorganisation of the Organisational Structure in the Area of Final Disposal. As of 20 December 2017, the tasks previously performed by the BfS and the DBE are now in the hands of a single body: the Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung (BGE). In anticipation of the legal merger of the participating companies and organisations, the Federal Environment Ministry asked the BGE to assess the status of the Konrad mine’s construction and to arrange for a review of the schedule. The results are now available.
Results of evaluation and implementation
In its expert assessment of the Konrad repository, TÜV Rheinland identifies not only existing problems and uncertainties, but also opportunities and potential for optimisation. Moreover, in the current market situation, the timely availability of specialist companies and complex individual technical components represents a risk in terms of timing.
Questions and answers regarding completion
An expert report commissioned by the BGE on the completion of the Konrad repository raises a number of questions. What was the reason for the analysis and why are the results being published now? Answers to this and other questions can be found here.
The Konrad repository in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, is planned and licensed for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste, which arises primarily from the operation and dismantling of nuclear power plants as well as from research institutions, industry and medicine.
Brief information on the Konrad repository
In 2007, the Konrad mine was licensed under nuclear law as the first repository in Germany. The former iron-ore mine is currently being converted into a repository and will then be used for the final disposal of up to 303,000 cubic metres of radioactive waste with negligible heat generation.