What is the situation regarding acceptance of the site?

By the time the planning approval decision was granted by the State of Lower Saxony, the acceptance on the part of the City of Salzgitter had already changed. Although the city had initially supported the company’s initiative, it subsequently positioned itself against the project in the course of the licensing procedure. In addition, the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Schacht Konrad (external link) was formed from local and national citizens’ initiatives as well as local representatives from trade unions and rural communities. For many years, the city and the alliance have been trying to find a way to put a stop to the Konrad repository – most recently through an application to the Lower Saxony Ministry for the Environment for revocation of the planning approval decision.

The issue of changes in the state of the art of science and technology

One key criticism from opponents is the issue of whether the project is still in line with the current state of the art of science and technology. Clearly, this is constantly evolving, and this was taken into account in the licence for the Konrad repository – the planning approval decision – which sets out how this is to be dealt with by way of the rules regarding planned changes. An acceptance test by the BASE will also ensure that only a safe repository enters service within the framework of the licence.

Moreover, as a responsible operator, the BGE is carrying out an evaluation of the safety requirements for the Konrad repository according to the state of the art of science and technology. This is the first of its kind and is intended to determine, in several phases, whether there are any safety-relevant discrepancies between the state of the art of science and technology at the time and that of the present day. In the first phase, the need for an evaluation was determined. Phase 1 of the evaluation then identified 36 safety-relevant deltas and 10 notes, which were used to mark out nine work packages that are being dealt with in Phase 2. The results of the individual phases undergo a scientific review and are published.

Since the licensing procedure, the construction of the repository has been accompanied by protests.