January 11, 2022
The German Federal Society for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (BGE) awarded a contract for the design planning and licensing of a waste treatment plant and interim storage facility in the former mine of Asse II salt in the district of Wolfenbüttel, Lower Saxony. The winning consortium has until the end of 2023 to submit the plans.
The Asse II mining site (Image: BGE)
The contract provides that the overhead systems must be designed so that approximately 100,000 cubic meters of recovered low and intermediate level radioactive waste can be processed. As part of the anti-accident and transportable conditioning of radioactive waste, the total volume to be temporarily stored is estimated at around 200,000 cubic meters. The staging facility should be designed for these volumes.
BGE said the contract provides for the creation of the baseline assessment, preliminary planning, project and approval for the waste treatment plant and interim storage facility. This also includes interiors, outdoor facilities, engineering structures and circulation facilities, including structural planning and technical equipment for the buffering, characterization, conditioning and interim storage of radioactive waste at recover from the Asse II mine. Only the waste from the Asse II mine will be treated and temporarily stored on the site.
Under the contract, awarded on December 20, the winning consortium – comprising Uniper Anlagenservice GmbH, Uniper Technologies GmbH and Brenk Systemplanung GmbH – will develop “technically and economically professional planning” for the construction and operation of the necessary systems, “taking into account takes into account all legal and operational requirements. “
BGE said a large part of the planning services must be provided regardless of the planned location.
“BGE constantly drives planning forward without creating hard facts,” said Stefan Studt, President of BGE. “This is how we agreed at the end of last year in the so-called lighting process.”
The proposal for a site near Asse for a waste treatment plant and an intermediate storage facility has been the subject of intensive discussions in the region. In February 2021, the Asse-2 support group, the Federal Ministry of the Environment and the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Environment agreed to review the location decision. The Federal Ministry of the Environment commissioned four experts to carry out the review. On October 18, they released their report.
The report is currently under review by all parties concerned. BGE is currently reviewing the rationale for choosing the location of the waste treatment plant and storage facility. At the same time, it was agreed in February last year that current planning would not be interrupted so as not to risk delaying the start of the recovery planned for 2033.
Between 1967 and 1978, thousands of barrels of mainly low-level radioactive waste were placed at the Asse II mine on behalf of the federal government. However, the facility has proven to be unstable and waste collection has been legally mandatory since 2013.
BGE – a federal company under the Federal Ministry of the Environment – took over in April 2017 the responsibility of operator of the Asse II mine and of the Konrad and Morsleben depots from the Federal Office for Radiation Protection. disposal site to dispose of highly radioactive waste produced in Germany on the basis of the site selection law which entered into force in May 2017.
BGE presented its waste recovery plan for Asse II in April 2020.
Research and writing by World Nuclear News