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Disposal > Gorleben mine

Gorleben mine

The Gorleben mine is situated to the south of the municipality of Gorleben (rural district of Lüchow-Dannenberg). The mine is neither a licensed repository nor an interim storage facility for radioactive waste. Thus, no radioactive waste has been stored there. It is operated by Deutsche Gesellschaft zum Bau und Betrieb von Endlagern für Abfallstoffe mbH (DBE) on behalf of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) and served to explore the Gorleben salt dome. A transport cask storage facility, a storage facility for radioactive waste and a pilot conditioning plant are situated ca. 300 metres away from the mine. The three facilities are operated by Gesellschaft für Nuklear-Service mbH (GNS).

Between 1979 and 2000 the Gorleben salt dome was investigated for its suitability to host a repository for high-level radioactive waste. As a result of the phase-out of nuclear energy in 2000, exploration works discontinued between 1 October 2000 and 30 September 2010 (Gorleben Moratorium). After the works had been resumed in October 2010, the exploration discontinued again in November 2012 and was terminated on 27 July 2013 when the Law on Site Selection became effective. The Gorleben mine needs to be kept open for as long as the Gorleben site will not be ruled out in the site-selection procedure.

The restart of the search for a repository also encourages the nation-wide debate about an examination of alternative sites in different rock formations.
 
Installations at the Gorleben Site
 
Bergwerk GorlebenThe Gorleben mine is located south of the municipality of Gorleben (Lüchow-Dannenberg district). The mine is operated by the German Service Company for the Construction and Operation of Waste Repositories (Deutsche Gesellschaft zum Bau und Betrieb von Endlagern für Abfallstoffe mbH – DBE) on behalf of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS). more...


   
The Gorleben mine
 
Bergwerk GorlebenThe Gorleben exploratory mine has been explored via two shafts reaching depths of 933 metres and 840 metres, respectively, in the centre of the about 14-kilometre-long and 4-kilometre-wide Gorleben salt dome. The investigation of the Gorleben salt dome requires the right of use for the rights to mine salt associated with the land ownership and the rights to mine salt that are dissociated from the land ownership. more...


Exploration of the Gorleben site in retrospect
 
Luftaufnahme vom Bergwerk GorlebenOn the basis of the recommendation on disposal in rock salt formations given in 1963 by the Federal Institute for Ground Research (today Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources) and the concept of the Integrated Nuclear Waste Management Centre (reprocessing of spent fuel elements, fuel element fabrication plants, installations for the handling of all types of radioactive waste at one site) presented by the federal government in 1974, eight sites were investigated in a feasibility study. more...


   
What’s next in Gorleben?
 
With the Site Selection Law having become effective on 27 July 2013, the exploration of the Gorleben mine was terminated. However, the mine needs to be kept open for as long as the Gorleben site has not been ruled out in the site selection procedure. more...