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Citizens in the repository site selection procedure

  • The BfE creates the basis and boundary conditions for the participation of citizens.
  • The repository site selection is implemented in several stages and with the participation of the regional and supra-regional public.
  • In future, citizens have manifold options to participate in the search for a site.

The Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE) co-ordinates, controls and supervises the search for a repository for high-level radioactive waste. The BfE creates the basis and boundary conditions for the participation of citizens. The BfE provides information on the status of the procedure. For this purpose, it is planned, among others, to establish an internet platform.

The basis for public participation in the search for a repository is the Repository Site Selection Act of 2013 which is currently being revised.

How can citizens participate?

In future, citizens have manifold options to participate in the search for a site. This may be within a regional framework (e.g. in so-called regional conferences) as well as within a supra-regional framework (e.g. in the subareas expert conferences).

The conferences are composed of individual citizens, representatives of organised interests and members of regional authorities. These regional boards monitor the repository site selection process in situ and combine regional expertise and regional interests. They are established once certain stages of the repository site selection procedure have been reached.

The already appointed National Advisory Body monitors the site selection independently, in particular the participation procedure. It is composed of individual citizens and acknowledged public figures.

Who decides where the repository will be located?

The repository site selection is implemented in several stages and with the participation of the regional and supra-regional public. The Federal Company for Radioactive Waste Disposal (Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung, BGE) as project sponsor develops proposals for subsections, regions and sites as well as site-related exploration programmes and test criteria.

The Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management is in charge of the procedure and examines the proposals of the BGE, organises the public participation and forwards the results to the Federal Environment Ministry. At the end of each stage, Bundestag and Bundesrat decide as to which areas will be further explored. By examining the geological conditions with the help of above-ground and underground explorations, the number of possible sites will reduce further.

At the end of the selection procedure, the Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management will propose a repository site to the legislator. On this basis, Bundestag and Bundesrat will make the decision about the site.

State of 2017.02.24

© Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management