Protection and safety
The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) is responsible for Asse II.
Starting on 1 January 2009, the federal government transferred the responsibility for the Asse II mine from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) has been the operator of the facility since. The Asse mine has been subject to the same rules as all other repositories for radioactive waste in Germany. The BfS has been assigned by law to decommission the Asse II mine immediately, that is without culpable delay (§ 57 b AtG).
BfS, thus, confronts three essential tasks:
- The long-term safety must be ensured. The challenge is to shield the radioactive radiation emitted by the waste in the mine from the biosphere. At no time must an impermissible amount of radioactivity from the waste enter the environment in an uncontrolled way.
- The operational safety of the Asse II mine must be improved by stabilising and precautionary measures so that a safe operation will be possible until the selected decommissioning option will be realised.
- Radiation protection must be ensured. The BfS takes all measures to keep the radiation exposure to population and staff as low as possible. No measure to secure or close the Asse mine must expose human beings to avoidable risks.
- The public will participate in the process: Right from the start, the public is the BfS’s partner in decommissioning the mine. Citizens have the legal right to information and participation in the plan-approval procedure for the decommissioning of the mine.
To find the best possible solution for the safe operation and the decommissioning of the Asse II mine all essential measures taken by the BfS will be developed and accompanied by experts and co-ordinated with the supervisory authorities. The results will be published in the internet.