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Sketch of a pit for the storage of radioactive waste underground, in front: warehouses and a transport truck

What is nuclear waste management?

Radioactive materials applied in the use of nuclear energy, in medicine, research or industry or arising as radioactive waste must be transported, stored or disposed of.

CASTOR on a waggon

Transports

The BfE is responsible for the licensing of transports of nuclear fuel and large sources. The current list of granted licences is published on a regular basis.

Federal custody of nuclear fuels

Storage of nuclear fuels is subject to strict safety requirements. Nuclear fuels may only be stored once a storage licence pursuant to § 6 Atomic Energy Act (AtG) has been granted or when they are used in an installation licensed pursuant to § 7 AtG, e.g. a nuclear power plant. To protect the population, the state takes care for the safekeeping of these materials if such a licence has not been granted. This could occur, if, for example, nuclear fuels were to be found or secured at border controls.

Transport- und Lagerbehälter CASTOR® HAW28M

Design approvals of transport packages

Packages in which radioactive material with enhanced risk potential is transported require competent authority approval. An approval is granted by the BfS for the package design (packaging with the contents to be transported). Accordingly, type B(U), type B(M), type C packages and all packages containing fissile material are subject to approval. All information and essential legal provisions the design approval procedure is based on are presented in the following. In particular the approval procedure, the application and the structure of a package design safety report are explained.

Inside the Nord interim storage facility (located near Lubmin)

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.

Sketch of a pit for underground storage of radioactive waste

Repositories

Man uses radioactive substances in manifold ways, e. g. for power generation, in the medical field and in industry. In doing so, radioactive waste arises which must be disposed of safely. In Germany the federation is responsible for final disposal. Emplacement in deep mines and subsequent permanent sealing is considered a suitable solution for the disposal of all types of radioactive waste in Germany.

© Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management