What is the Asse?
The most important information in brief
The Asse II salt mine near Wolfenbüttel is an approximately 100-year-old potash and salt mine. Between 1965 and 1992, Helmholtz Zentrum München used the mine on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Research to test the handling and storage of radioactive waste in a repository. Between 1967 and 1978, 46,950 cubic metres of radioactive waste in 125,787 drums were emplaced.
Today, Asse faces two major problems: On the one hand, saline solutions enter the mine, on the other hand the stability of the mine openings is jeopardised. In September 2008, the ministries involved agreed to treat Asse as a repository in future. At the beginning of 2009, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) took over operatorship for the Asse II mine from Helmholtz Zentrum München. The task of BfS is to safely decommission Asse.
According to the present state of knowledge, retrieving the radioactive waste is the best option for the decommissioning of the Asse repository.