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Key data on the search process

The Site Selection Act defines the individual steps of the search and selection process aimed at the safe storage of the high-level radioactive waste. This process is supposed to be transparent, based on scientific insights and free of preconceived opinions as to its outcome. The objective is to find a repository site that will offer the best possible safety for one million years.

Other participants

As well as the Commission on the Storage of High-Level Radioactive Waste and the BfE, the following stakeholders are also involved in the repository site selection process.

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Securing potential sites

In the future, economic interests such as the extraction of raw materials or the use of geothermal energy must be weighed against the public interest of finding a secure site for a repository for radioactive waste. The Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE) in its function as regulating authority will play an important role in this coordination of interests. In cooperation with the relevant state authorities, the BfE will assess if mining projects need to be rejected or approved.

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Public participation

Alongside the implementing agency, the BfE will be the second key institution in the site selection process and will, within its mandate and area of competence, be responsible for public relations and the formal public participation procedure.

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Funding of the site selection procedure

The funding of the site selection procedure is based on the “polluter pays” principle: Those who have produced radioactive waste, i.e. the operators of nuclear power plants, are legally required to bear the costs of the search for a repository. The power utilities have provided 24 million euros for this project. The money was transferred into a public-law fund on 1 July 2017. This “Fund for the Financing of Nuclear Waste Management” will manage the money and will ensure that the money is invested securely and profitably.

© Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management