The difficult search for a nuclear waste repository

the difficult search for a nuclear waste repository

In the discussion about a final repository for germany’s nuclear waste, politicians from various parties have warned against individual regions ducking out of the way.

" nuclear power was used nationwide. Finding a suitable repository is a national task," said SPD parliamentary group vice chairman matthias miersch and former green MEP rebecca harms. Federal environment minister svenja schulze (SPD) appealed to "joint responsibility" for the consequences of nuclear power with ministers from three federal states at "spiegel online. "We owe this to the generations to come."

By 2031, a place should be found where the radiating waste from nuclear power plants can be stored underground as safely as possible. The final repository is to be used from 2050 onward. At present, the federal company for final disposal is evaluating geological data on the basis of which certain areas can be excluded. The soil conditions and earthquake risks, for example, were evaluated. On monday, an interim report is to be presented with areas that are being considered for a final repository.

The environmental politicians warned that all partners should adhere to the agreed procedure. Bavaria, however, is trying to evade responsibility, miersch and harms criticized. "This is a violation of the cross-party consensus for a nationwide comparative and open-ended search".Earlier, in the "frankfurter allgemeine sonntagszeitung", grunen leader robert habeck had reproached the CSU: "the party that has always declared its support for nuclear power refuses to solve the problem"."

Bavaria’s environment minister thorsten glauber (freie wahler) stressed that bavaria is facing up to the responsibility. "At the end of the day, we want the repository with the best possible safety," he told the "rheinische post" newspaper. "Geology decides here, not ideology."

Schulze and the state environment ministers ursula heinen-esser (north rhine-westphalia, CDU), olaf lies (lower saxony, SPD) and franz untersteller (baden-wurttemberg, grune) emphasized: "we are confident: with this process, we will find a site that offers the best possible safety – not only for the next 50 years.000, but for a million years and beyond."The agreed transparent and science-based process offers the chance to permanently pacify a social conflict.

Union environmental politicians marie-luise dott and karsten moring also expressed confidence in the process. "The union stands by the science-based approach that will lead us to the best possible location," they explained.

However, former federal environment minister jurgen trittin (grune) expects new protests against a decision. In addition, the interim report will be presented late. "So i would be very cautious about seeing 2050 as being set in stone," he told the "neue osnabrucker zeitung". There must be no veto rights for individuals – "not from bavarian minister presidents, but also not from citizens’ initiatives," trittin emphasized. "Otherwise the process is no longer fair and therefore worth nothing."

Grunen faction leader anton hofreiter and environmental politician sylvia kotting-uhl explained that the interim result does not mean that a region has yet been decided upon. Which rock formations are suitable for a repository is not a political decision, but a scientific one. There was no place for individual political interests. Miersch and harms, however, suggested that doubts about the procedure should be discussed politically. Politics cannot delegate all responsibility for the success of the process.

At the same time, both made it clear that they consider gorleben in lower saxony to be unsuitable as a site for a repository. Both politicians come from lower saxony. Harms was one of the founding members of the citizens’ initiative against a repository in gorleben.

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