Who will pay for the clean-up of asse ii?

The inventory report supports the allegations that the major part of the radioactivity originates from the nuclear power plant in obrigheim

Calculations by greenpeace based on an inventory report show that a good two-thirds of the radioactivity in the ailing asse II nuclear waste repository is due to commercial power generation. Officially, the power companies admit that they are only responsible for a small part of the stored radiation. The main purpose of the argument is to reduce the billions of euros needed to rehabilitate the sinking "test repository" on the taxpayers (helpless in the crisis).

The environmental organization greenpeace has calculated on the basis of an inventory report from 2002 that only just under 23% of the radioactivity stored in the asse came from research reactors. In contrast, nearly 72% came from nuclear reactors to generate electricity. Greenpeace refers to a report of the GSF research center for environment and health, predecessor of today’s helmholtz zentrum munchen, which was prepared in 2002 . It is the "final report" with the title: "determination of the nuclide-specific activity inventory of the asse mine".

Who pays for remediation of asse ii?

From hubert mania’s article on the history of asse 2: the weiben sumpfe von wittmar

The report gives "information on the location, amount and composition of the radioactivity present and detailed information on the origin of the nuclear waste" writes greenpeace. According to the report, the radioactive mull stored in the asse came mainly from the nuclear power plants of the large energy companies enbw, RWE, vattenfall.. "These figures refute the nuclear industry’s previous representation that nuclear waste from private-sector sources was only dumped into the asse in small quantities", according to greenpeace.

As previously suspected, the vast majority comes from the obrigheim nuclear power plant, which is operated by enbw. Enbw was responsible for by far the largest part of the total radioactivity in the salt dome, at around 63. The waste from RWE’s nuclear power plants amounts to just under 6 % and from vattenfall to a good 2 %. The german atomic forum always declares that only 20 % of the radioactivity in the asse came from its power plants.

The difference is due to the fact that nuclear waste was initially redefined as a research object and took a detour via the karlsruhe research center. There, the federal government once loved to explore possibilities for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel. Greenpeace’s nuclear expert, heinz smital, accuses the power companies of being too "trick and trade". It would be now above all a question of rolling off the costs on the taxpayer, although the companies of the "cheap nuclear waste dump" had profited.

With it smital refers to the amendment of the atomic law. After the bundestag passed on 13. February, the bundesrat also approved the reform, paving the way for the costs of the asse to be transferred in full to the federal government. According to the polluter-pays principle, the electricity companies had to pay for well over two-thirds of the costs, which are estimated at at least 2.5 billion euros, based on the available data.

Federal environment minister sigmar gabriel (SPD) is now attempting a U-turn in the face of opposition ahead of the elections in the summer. Now he wants the companies to share the costs of closing the warehouse. After the law was passed, he said it was unreasonable to expect the general public to bear the costs alone, calling the nuclear industry’s actions "damage socialism". Gabriel announced last friday that the SPD would press for the introduction of a fuel tax on uranium in the next legislative period if the energy companies did not agree to voluntary payments. However, there is no legal basis for this so far.

Gabriel, meanwhile, ruled out salvaging the medium-level radioactive (MAW) waste from the salt dome: "this is no longer the subject of further investigations." the approximately 1.300 casks of medium-level radioactive mull are the least of the problems for long-term "the lesser problem". In a statement of the ministry it is said that their retrieval is not recommended from the point of view of long-term safety, "because, according to the experts, the MAW waste is of only minor importance in terms of risk to humans and the environment". The flooding of the asse, as proposed by the helmholtz center, is considered to be the "ultima ratio"-option.