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09 Mar 2020, 13:34
Rachel Waldholz

Plan for new interim nuclear waste site draws criticism

taz / Clean Energy Wire

Critics are denouncing plans to build a new interim storage facility for low- and medium-level radioactive nuclear waste at the site of the former Würgassen nuclear power plant in Germany, the newspaper taz reports. On Friday, the Federal Company for Interim Storage (BGZ) announced plans to create a central interim storage facility at the site, to receive waste from plants being decommissioned all over the country as Germany phases out nuclear power. The site would not store high-level radioactive waste, such as spent fuel rods, the BGZ said. The waste would then be processed for final storage at the Schacht Konrad former mine site near Salzgitter, about a hundred kilometres away. Work at the Schacht Konrad site has been repeatedly delayed, taz reports, but the facility is supposed to open in 2027.

Environmental groups say the Schacht Konrad site is unfit for nuclear storage, and object to the planned interim storage site in Würgassen. “The planned Schacht Konrad nuclear waste storage facility does not correspond to the state of the art in science and technology and would not be approved today,” said Olaf Bandt of Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) in a press release, adding that creating an additional interim storage site in Würgassen creates new risks for the local community. “An additional storage facility would also make more nuclear transports necessary, thus increasing the danger to the population,” Bandt says in the press release. Germany has a long history of anti-nuclear activism and has committed to phasing out all nuclear power by 2022.

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