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Interim Storage Facilities

Up until now there has been no operable, licensed radioactive waste repository available in Germany. Until it will be taken to a repository, radioactive waste from the operation and decommissioning of nuclear power plants is therefore to be stored for a limited period of time in special facilities.

Inside the Nord interim storage facility (located near Lubmin)

What are interim storage facilities?

Interim storage makes it possible to let the heat-generating waste decay, i.e. the residual radiation intensity and decay heat is reduced. Thus, a simplified processing and possibly clearance of the substance is enabled and the need for repository volume is reduced.

Buildings of the Nord interim storage facility (located near Lubmin)

Central interim storage facilities

Two central transport cask storage facilities (TBL) have been installed in storage halls made of reinforced concrete at the sites of Ahaus (North Rhine-Westphalia) and Gorleben (Lower Saxony). The Nord interim storage facility located near Lubmin in the borough of Rubenow (Lubmin authority) in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is a facility for treating and storing all types of radioactive waste.

A licence for the storage of high-level radioactive vitrified waste block containers being returned from the AREVA NC reprocessing plant in France (former COGEMA) has only been granted for the Gorleben TBL. The TBL Ahaus not only stores spent power reactor fuel elements but also spent fuel elements originating from research reactors.

Interim storage facilities for radioactive waste with negligible heat generation

In the Federal Republic of Germany, there is a multitude of interim storage facilities for radioactive waste with negligible heat generation. Licensing and regulatory authorities for the interim storage of such waste are the competent authorities of the federal state where the storage facility is situated.


Licensing of interim storage facilities for nuclear fuels

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection is the authority that is competent for the licensing of interim storage facility pursuant to §6 of the Atomic Energy Act. Here you will find information about the licensing procedure and its basic principles, current announcements and the current administration of justice regarding the licensing of interim storage facilities.

Origin and storage of radioactive waste  in Germany

Decentralised interim storage facilities

Until a repository for heat-generating waste will be taken into operation, this waste must be safely stored intermediately. In Germany, spent fuel elements from the operation of research and power reactors are stored in central interim storage facilities and in on-site interim storage facilities.

© Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management