SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3RD, 2020.-
The federal body set up to find the right place to set up a nuclear cemetery in Germany, which will leave that energy by the end of 2022, today revealed that ninety regions in the country meet the geological criteria for hosting such infrastructure.
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According to this first phase of the study, 54% of Germany's area is "very suitable for the permanent and safe storage of highly radioactive waste," Steffen Kanitz, one of the directors of the Federal Society for The Final Storage (BGE) of radioactive waste, said at a press conference.
He added that of the ninety areas identified, nine correspond to clay soil, seven to crystalline and 74 to saline.
It stressed that the identified regions did not amount to a possible final location and noted that the task in this first phase of study was not to develop a ranking of suitable locations, but to identify "geologically suitable" locations that ensure "lasting safety over different geological periods".
In this regard, he stated that this security - for a million years - can only be offered "deep enough, sufficiently airtight and robust enough for external purposes".
Kanitz also announced that the Gorleben reservoir in the north of the country, where Germany has been storing its radioactive waste containers since 1977, is excluded from the process by not meeting the salt mine with geoscientific assessment criteria.
ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENTS CALL FOR TRANSPARENCY IN THE PROCESS
The spokesman for the atomic energy organization ".ausgestrahlt", Jochen Stay, also spoke at a "good day" press conference for Gorleben and stressed that dismissing this location as a final site is "proof that errors can be corrected if citizens take responsibility."
However, it recalled that "nuclear waste is still there" and that it is still "far away" from a permanently safe location, while warning that the new process of finding a definitive location "can bring new mistakes."
He recalled that hosting the nuclear cemetery means for a locality to "assume the risk of nuclear waste for society as a whole," so the new search procedure "only has prospects for success if it convinces those affected," he added.
Stay, as well as the manager of the environmental collective League for the Protection of Nature and the Environment (BUND), Antje von Broock, and the president of the popular environmental protection initiative, Martin Donat, criticized the lack of transparency in the process, which they called for to be fair.
Environment Minister Svenja Schulze held in a press appearance the "first visible progress" three years after the start of this process.
He called it "good news" that experts have identified numerous geologically suitable regions, confirming that "there are more conditions for hosting a secure deposit in Germany."
He stressed that the "decisive" thing is that this process - "intelligible" and "verifiable" - is "strictly scientific", and in which he decides geology, while "political considerations play no role".
He further emphasized the possibility of population participation, which was, he said, the next step, adding that the search for a definitive location is "a society-wide task" that can only be achieved "solidarity".
The aim is to establish until 2031 a permanent and safe site for around 1,900 "beaver" containers with about 27,000 cubic meters of radioactive waste once the final abandonment of nuclear power in Germany, set by the end of 2022, is met.