Gorleben will not be a nuclear waste storage site

Posted on Sep 28, 2020
Raleigh, NC

Germany has been searching for a place to store its nuclear waste for over forty years. Like in the US, this process has become highly politicized and controversial. Few people want to live near a nuclear waste facility.

The German government created a committee to identify potential regions for long term storage of the waste[2]. Today the committee published a list of potential sites. One omission in particular stood out–the salt mine at Gorleben was not on the list. Gorleben has been a flashpoint since it was devised in government closet rooms forty years ago and its omission without further comment raises the question whether it was excluded purely for political reasons. For example, while recognizing that Gorleben has ample reasons not to be a long term storage site, Michael Bauchmüller says that Gorleben’s omission without further comment will cast doubts as to the fairness and objectivity of the selection process, and implies that it would have been better to have Gorleben fail an objective criterion, such as having water running through the salt deposits, at a later round. In his mind, its exclusion now could cause “the curse of Gorleben to overshadow the process.” [3]

[1] From Gorleben könnte seinen Schatten werfen published in Süddeutsche Zeitung on 28. Sepember 2020. [2] Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung (BGE) [3] “Es wäre eine Katastrophe, würde sich der Fluch Gorlebens über dieses Verfahren legen.”