Leaked plan shows true extent of Germany’s nuclear waste disposal

A leaked German government document has revealed that the country’s nuclear power industry will have to dispose of almost twice as much waste as had previously been forecast.

Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that around 600,000 cubic metres of nuclear waste will have to be placed in permanent underground storage instead of the anticipated 298,000 cubic metres.
Nuclear waste disposal
A copy of Germany’s draft "National Disposal Plan" leaked to the paper shows that because of the inclusion for the first time of 13,000 tonnes of waste from uranium enrichment, equivalent to around 100,000 cubic metres, the figures are considerably higher.

Since the so-called uranium tails can be processed into nuclear fuel, the waste was previously excluded from the calculations for the overall total.

Because of increasing seepage of groundwater into one shaft, the site's 126,000 drums will have to be removed and their contents repacked in new containers and disposed of afresh.

Germany's nuclear waste management was complicated further when environmental authorities in Schleswig-Holstein announced last month that a third of barrels containing radioactive waste at a Vattenfall-owned decommissioned nuclear plant are damaged.

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