Press Release

No. 11/17 - First sets of data supplied by the federal states with respect to the exclusion criteria

3 November 2017

The federal states’ authorities have replied to the BGE’s first data enquiry in the framework of the site selection procedure for a repository for high-level radioactive waste. “Now that we have received these helpful replies, we are about to start the difficult task of analysing and applying the data”, said BGE Chairwoman Ursula Heinen-Esser.

Assuming the principle of the “white map”, the BGE needs data that help to apply the legally stipulated exclusion criteria to the entire national territory of Germany. The required data consist of tectonic, mining and hydrogeological data. In August, the BGE placed an enquiry with the geological services of the federal states and with the mining authorities in order to retrieve these data. The federal states were asked to reply by 30 September 2017. The reported data will be analysed within the next few months. The delivery of missing information and data sets will be coordinated in collaboration with the authorities. Some of the authorities only informed the BGE on the type of data available in their archives and databases and on the form in which such data can be provided. Heinen-Esser said: “We are rather worried that a large amount of the data is only available in analogue form, i.e. on paper.” The BGE Chairwoman fears that this might lead to a considerable delay. The same applies to the rather varied quality of the data sets.

On 25 April 2017, the BGE was appointed as project developer for the site selection procedure by law. The law provides that the first step must be an assessment of the data available from the competent authorities on federal and state level. Subsequently, the minimum requirements and geoscientific assessment criteria must be applied to a potential site, for which further data is required from the competent authorities. This includes data on the existence of potential host rock formations in Germany – rock salt, clay rock and crystalline rock – as well as data on the position, thickness and extension of such rock. A report on subareas will be prepared, indicating the areas that have been determined by application of the legally stipulated exclusion criteria, minimum requirements and geoscientific assessment criteria. The report will also indicate those areas for which a substantiated exclusion is not possible because of insufficient data. The interim report on those subareas that can be expected to provide favourable geological conditions for the safe emplacement of radioactive waste will be the first milestone in the site selection procedure.

The BGE is a federally owned company within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry for the Environment. On 25 April 2017, the BGE assumed the responsibility as operator of the Asse II mine and the Konrad and Morsleben repositories. All of them were previously operated by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS). The tasks of the BGE also include the search for a repository site where the high-level radioactive waste produced in Germany can be disposed of, based on the Site Selection Law effective since May 2017. The Management Board consists of Ursula Heinen-Esser (Chairwoman), Dr. Ewold Seeba (Deputy Managing Director), Prof. Dr. Hans-Albert Lennartz (Commercial Director) and Dr. Thomas Lautsch (Technical Director).

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