Nuclear energy Download as PDF
Issue June 2015

Nuclear energy

What comes afterwards?

Editorial


One million years

Editorial by Michael Sailer, CEO, Oeko-Institut

The first time I took part in a panel discussion – in Worms back in 1975 – it dealt with a nuclear power plant. We talked about the Biblis plant. And when the issue of nuclear waste was raised, the operator said: “We’ll deal with it.” And I answered: “It’s not that simple. I’m worried that we will need a clean-up operation in future.”

The future means today. Germany is now searching for a site that can accommodate 28,100 cubic metres of high-level radioactive waste – a site that offers the best possible safety and security for a period of one million years, in accordance with the law. No building, facility or technology created by human hand can possibly offer safe storage over such long time spans: the forces of nature are simply too strong. Only geological formations are stable enough to store the legacy of half a century of the nuclear industry. Using modern geoscientific...

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One million years

In Focus


Decision-making for the future

Public participation in the search for a final storage site

Germany is looking for a final storage site for its nuclear waste. The 2013 Repository Site Selection Act (Standortauswahlgesetz) created the framework for a multi-stage process which began with the establishment of the Commission on the Storage of Highly Radioactive Materials in 2014. The process of selecting a suitable site for the long-term storage of high-level radioactive waste (HLW) will start in 2016. According to researchers at the Oeko-Institut, however, it could be... more

Decision-making for the future

Fading out of the landscape

Decommissioning nuclear power plants

The last kilowatt hour has been fed into the grid. What happens now? Unlike Berlin’s Tegel Airport or the Gasometer in Oberhausen, finding an alternative use for disused nuclear power plants is not an appealing prospect. Decommissioning is therefore the only option and is already under way at several sites. It’s a complex process, costing around three quarters of a billion euros for each reactor, and it takes time – 20 years and more from planning to completion. The expertise of... more

Fading out of the landscape

“We have a responsibility to future generations”

Interview with Michael Sailer, Oeko-Institut

Nuclear energy issues run like a red thread through Michael Sailer’s curriculum vitae. Early on in his career, he campaigned for the phasing out of nuclear power. Today, he is the Chairman of the Nuclear Waste Management Commission (ESK) and a member of the Commission on the Storage of Highly Radioactive Materials. Michael Sailer is a critic of nuclear energy and a high-profile expert on the nuclear industry. For the last 35 years, he has put this expertise to good use on behalf... more

“We have a responsibility to future generations”

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