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Press release No. 12/23 - Repository Search

BGE launches school competition: "It radiates forever!"

11/29/2023: Attention teachers in grades 9 to 13: The BGE is launching a nationwide school competition on the topic of final storage with free teaching materials and webinars.

Although many people consider the subject of nuclear energy closed since the last German nuclear power plants went offline in spring 2023, the opposite is actually the case. The remnants of this era – namely, the radioactive waste – must still be placed in safe final disposal for a period of a million years. The search for the site offering the best possible safety for a repository is still in its early stages and includes numerous opportunities for public participation. As the final disposal of radioactive waste also affects young people and even future generations, it makes an excellent topic for school lessons.

Through the nationwide competition entitled “It radiates forever!”, the Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung (BGE) aims to teach schoolchildren about the repository search in an interesting and realistic manner. The competition will begin on 1 December 2023 and is aimed at school classes from grades 9 to 13. From the BGE, participating schools will receive free teaching materials on the topic of final disposal for one teaching unit each in the areas of physics, geography, social sciences and arts subjects (e.g. music, art and performing arts). There will also be subject-specific webinars for teaching staff. 

Task on final disposal – including a competition

Pupils with no prior knowledge can therefore familiarise themselves with various aspects of the repository search: what challenges are associated with the final disposal of high-level radioactive waste? What could happen in the space of a million years? What if your own region was eligible for a repository? Where is the radioactive waste at the moment?

In a final project task, pupils can apply the newly acquired knowledge directly and document their results in a creative manner. The only limit is their imagination! 

Teachers can submit the results of this project to the competition, which will see the best contributions selected by an expert jury. Winners can look forward to exciting prizes, and the results of the competition will be presented at a prizegiving ceremony. 

Further information, as well as the materials, can be found on the project website: 

https://www.zeitfuerdieschule.de/veranstaltungen/das-strahlt-ja-ewig/ (external link; german only)

The competition entitled “It radiates forever!” is organised in collaboration with “ZEIT für die Schule”. The closing date for submissions is 3 May 2024.  

About the BGE

The BGE is a federally owned company within the portfolio of the Federal Environment Ministry. On 25 April 2017, the BGE assumed responsibility from the Federal Office for Radiation Protection as the operator of the Asse II mine and the Konrad and Morsleben repositories. In addition to the decommissioning of the Gorleben mine, its other tasks include searching for a repository site for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste produced in Germany on the basis of the Repository Site Selection Act, which entered into force in May 2017. The Managing Director is Dr Thomas Lautsch.