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20 Oct 2020, 12:36
Alex Dziadosz

Public's interest flags in participation in Germany's nuclear waste disposal search

Tageszeitung (taz)

An event aimed at boosting public participation in Germany’s search for a nuclear waste disposal site has drawn less interest than its organisers expected, Malte Kreutzfeldt writes in Die Tageszeitung (taz). The event that had been planned to be held in-person with up to 1,000 people in city of Kassel in Hesse had been moved online due to coronavirus risks. Yet, only about half of the 827 people who registered took part in the debate held over the weekend, the report notes. At noon on Sunday, it said, only 340 people were participating online, including an unknown number affiliated with the event. Around 100 others followed the discussion on YouTube. Environmental groups had already expressed concerns that the online format would hinder participation.

Germany knows almost exactly how much radioactive waste it will need to find a repository for because its nuclear reactors have limited lifespans, with the last one going out of operation at the end of 2022. However, there are still many unanswered questions about where to store the waste that most potential target regions regard as a blight on their attractiveness. This year, the country took the first step toward finding a final resting place. A report issued by the Federal Company for Radioactive Waste Disposal identified more than half of Germany's area as a possible location. The search process is expected to be intricate and will not be be finished before 2031.

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