Decommissioning of the Asse repository
According to the present state of knowledge, retrieving all the waste from the Asse mine is the best variant of how to further deal with the radioactive waste emplaced.
In January 2009, the BfS took over the responsibility for the Asse mine. Based on the recommendations of the Comparison of Options working group (AGO) a comparison of different decommissioning options was carried out. The aim was to find a suitable decommissioning option under the given geological and rock-mechanical conditions and on the basis of the provisions of nuclear law.
Option of retrieval
According to the present state of knowledge, retrieving all the waste from the Asse mine is the best variant of how to further deal with the radioactive waste emplaced. That is the result of the comparison of options for the decommissioning of Asse. Apart from retrieving the waste, the complete backfilling of the mine and the relocation of the waste to deeper parts of Asse were examined, too.
According to the current state of knowledge the long-term safety can only be ensured for the Asse site after all the waste has been retrieved. The result of this comparison of options was presented to the public in January 2010.
Trial phase to clarify open questions
To clarify currently still existing uncertainties in terms of retrieval (state of emplacement chambers, state of emplaced waste packages and their handling possibilities, radiation exposure during retrieval operations), the BfS has provided for a trial phase (fact finding). The necessary data and facts that are urgently required for planning the retrieval of the waste are to be gained in three steps. Parallel to this, initial plans for the retrieval of the waste are completed to the point where they are ripe for implementation.
To enable the retrieval of the waste, emergency measures are planned and implemented simultaneously to limit the impacts of an uncontrolled inflow of brine. An essential prerequisite for retrieval is the implementation of necessary precautions and the establishment of an emergency response.