A report by an expert body in 2017 points to the first half of 2027 as the completion date, taking account of the uncertainties that can be assessed. In particular, these uncertainties include the fact that the Konrad mine is being used to build the first repository licensed under the Atomic Energy Act. The experts from TÜV Rheinland therefore made a conservative estimate of the length of the necessary preliminary inspection procedures under nuclear law based on experience in relation to nuclear facilities.
In the current phase of the project, there are still a number of contracts to be concluded. Above all, contracts for the building to receive the waste packages are yet to be awarded. In some cases, there are also only a few specialised companies and expert bodies on the market that are even suitable for performing the tasks. This uncertainty was also taken into account when estimating the completion date. However, the numerous subprojects are generally running according to the estimated schedule.
How will the Konrad repository be put into service?
According to the current general schedule for the construction of the Konrad repository, the BGE’s planners are working on the basis that Commissioning Phase B will begin in the third quarter of 2026. For the first time, this will involve examining the interaction between all technical components, such as the winding apparatus, the flatbed lorry and the transport containers. For the purposes of this test, these containers will not yet be loaded with radioactive waste. Construction of the Konrad repository, including Commissioning Phase B, is due to be completed in the first half of 2027 as planned. After that, Commissioning Phase C can be carried out. According to the planning approval decision, this phase is the first in which radioactive waste packages are transported to the facility and placed in buffer storage and final disposal.
What costs will arise during construction of the Konrad repository and who is required to pay them?
At present, the total cost of building the Konrad repository is estimated at €4.6 billion. This does not include the €930 million of exploration and planning costs incurred from 1977 to 2007.
Funding depends on the proportion of the waste that is to be disposed of. Some 60% of the costs will be borne by the German Nuclear Waste Management Fund (KENFO) (external link). The decision to set up this fund was made as part of the nuclear phase-out, and the fund was established using financial resources from the power companies. Around 35% of the costs must be funded from tax revenues. These costs are for waste from federal nuclear facilities – particularly from the dismantling of GDR nuclear power plants and from federal research institutes. The remaining approx. 5% originates from private waste producers, such as from fuel production in Germany.
This photo gallery shows the progress of construction work on the Konrad repository both above and below ground in the years 2007 to 2022 in chronological order.