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Glückauf! 5/2019

In 2011 the German Government decided that it would completely phase out nuclear energy use by the end of 2022. Other countries, however, continue to use nuclear power and are even busy building new nuclear power stations. The question of what is to be done with the radioactive waste has only been partly resolved. While a number of countries around the world have found and implemented disposal and permanent storage solutions for dealing with low and intermediate-level radioactive waste, there are currently no permanent repositories in operation for the containment of high-level waste from the nuclear industry.

Under the heading “repository mining” the current edition of Mining Report Glückauf therefore presents a review of the long-term waste management projects …Read more

With my best regards // Mit freundlichem Glückauf
Dipl.-Ing. Andreas-Peter Sitte
Chief Editor Mining Report Glückauf, Essen

ISSUE 05/2019

Comparative Survey of International Repository Projects

Fig. 1. Nuclear power plants in operation worldwide excl. West/Central Europe (1). // Bild 1. Kernkraftwerke in Betrieb/weltweit ohne West-/Zentraleuropa (1).

In 2011 the Federal Republic of Germany decided that it would completely phase out nuclear power by the end of 2022. However, nuclear energy continues to be developed at international level and this means the ongoing generation of radioactive waste. While many different disposal and storage solutions have been implemented around the world to deal with low and intermediate-level radioactive waste, there are as yet no final disposal facilities in operation for high-level radioactive waste. Nonetheless, the expectation is that in the course of the next ten years repositories …

Author: Dr.-Ing. Frank Charlier, Nukleare Entsorgung und Techniktransfer (NET), RWTH Aachen University, Aachen/Germany

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Disposal of Radioactive Waste in Germany – An Overview of Ongoing Projects

In the field of radioactive waste disposal, a particularly wide range of mining activities has to be carried out using state-of-the-art technology and high safety standards. This is especially true when a broad range of objectives is persued under different site conditions, as is the case in Germany. If the focus is on waste with negligible heat generation, the Konrad project is an example of the conversion of a mine into a repository, which requires extensive reconstruction, expansion, conversion, and complex securing of shafts and drifts. The Morsleben repository, on the other hand, is currently being kept open and work on decommissioning the repository is progressing vigorously. A focal point is the design of the sealing structures. They, as well as backfilling measures for stabilisation, are indispensible for the long-term isolation …

Author: Dr.-Ing. Hans-Joachim Engelhardt, BGE TECHNOLOGY GmbH, Peine/Germany

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Deep Borehole Disposal of High-Level Radioactive Waste – Results of the Project CREATIEF

Fig. 1. Schematic deep borehole disposal in crystalline rock. // Bild 1. Schema zur tiefen Bohrlochlagerung im Kristallin.

Currently, more than 30 countries throughout the world use nuclear energy to generate electricity. Almost all countries contemplate how to safely store and dispose of radioactive waste in the long term. Repositories for low- and intermediate-level waste of various designs have been in operation throughout the world for decades. In 2015, Finland was the first country, however, that obtained a license to construct a repository for spent fuel elements. In Germany, the disposal of heat-generating radioactive waste and spent fuel elements in a mine was favored from the very beginning. With regard to safety and licensing aspects, a mine solution was considered to be the most feasible of the disposal options.

Authors: Dr.-Ing. Tino Rosenzweig, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Freiberg/Germany, Dipl.-Ing. Wilhelm Bollingerfehr, BGE TECHNOLOGY GmbH, Peine/Germany, Dr.-Ing. Christin Dieterichs, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Freiberg/Germany, Dipl.-Ing. Maxi Herold, Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung (BGE), Peine/Germany, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfram Kudla, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Freiberg/Germany und Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Reich, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Freiberg/Germany

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Application of Sorel Concrete for Barrier Construction and Cavity Stabilisation at Schachtanlage Asse II

Fig. 1. Basic concept for a horizontal flow barrier at Schachtanlage Asse II. // Bild 1. Grundkonzept einer horizontalen Strömungsbarriere in der Schachtanlage Asse II. Source/Quelle: BGE

Schachtanlage Asse II is a former salt and potash mine that was taken over by the Federal Government when production came to an end in 1965. Between 1967 and 1978 low- and medium-level radioactive waste was placed there in underground storage chambers on behalf of the German Government. However, current information indicates that the long-term safety of this waste material will be compromised due to a number of factors, including the extended lifetime of the storage chambers, the inadequate distance between them and the overburden and the undersized structural design of the load-bearing components. The concern is that this will result in geomechanical degradation and that an inflow of solution from the overburden rock has been taking place since 1988 or even before (1).

Authors: Dipl.-Ing. Jens Köhler, Dipl.-Ing. Lutz Teichmann, Dipl.-Ing. Matthias Heydorn, Dipl.-Geow. Dr. Paul Eric Wolff, Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung mbH, Schachtanlage Asse II, Remlingen/Germany

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Continuing Liability and Distribution of Responsibility for Radioactive Waste – and after Coal Phase-Out

Final disposal site mining is mainly characterised by the transfer of the responsibility for the disposal to the Disposal Fund. But apart from that, the energy companies remain responsible – without any option of being released from liability. This continuing responsibility is laid down in the German Continuing Liability Act (Nachhaftungsgesetz). Is there also a continuing liability for the mining industry in light of the coal phase-out?

Author: Univ.-Prof. Dr. jur. Walter Frenz, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen/Germany

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“Russia is interested in Cooperation with German Companies”

Fig. 1. Alexander Shokhin, President of the RSPP. // Bild 1. Alexander Schochin, Präsident des RSPP. Photo/Foto: www.kremlin.ru

Alexander Shokhin (Figure 1) is President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), Moscow/Russia, the most important representatives of the Russian economy and counterpart of the Federation of German Industries (BDI). In an interview with the German-Russian Raw Materials Forum (DRRF), Freiberg/Germany, the former Minister of the Russian economy explains the measures taken by the Russian government to promote digitisation at state level and how important cooperation with German companies is to him. At the same time, he stresses that ecology and environmental protection are now high priorities for the Russian economy.

Author: Deutsch-Russisches Rohstoff-Forum e.V. (DRRF), Freiberg

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