The final nuclear waste storage facility in the Konrad mine will be 2.64 billion euros more expensive

According to BGE, the total costs of the final storage project, for which 3.

The final nuclear waste storage facility in the Konrad mine will be 2.64 billion euros more expensive

According to BGE, the total costs of the final storage project, for which 3.76 billion euros have already been spent, will subsequently increase by a further 2.64 billion euros to 6.4 billion euros. Konrad Shaft is a former iron ore mine that is intended to be a national repository for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste. All necessary permits have been obtained and extensive construction and preparatory work is currently underway.

The BGE had already reported in June about a delay in the completion of the facility, which was actually scheduled for 2027 and is intended to receive radioactive waste from decommissioned nuclear power plants and research facilities from the beginning of the 2030s. The federal authority said at the time that the work had fallen behind schedule for around two years. The reasons include time-consuming redesign of contractual relationships with central contractors and updated security requirements.

According to the information, the updated cost estimate that has now been published is a result of the approximately two-year delay in construction. At the same time, according to BGE, further cost increases due to other factors were taken into account.

The BGE was founded in 2016 as part of a fundamental reorganization of Germany's nuclear waste storage policy and assumed responsibility for the completion of construction projects that had already begun and the implementation of the site selection process for a final repository for high-level radioactive waste. She has been responsible for the Konrad shaft since 2018. She is also responsible, among other things, for the renovation of the dilapidated Asse repository in Lower Saxony.

According to the BGE, the underground expansion of the former iron ore mine has now been completed. However, there is still extensive work to be done, for example on the shafts and in the above-ground area of ​​the future facility.

The project has already incurred costs of 930 million euros in the exploration and planning phase and a further 2.83 billion euros in the construction phase by the end of 2022. According to the new calculations, another 2.64 billion euros will be added by the end of the work.

According to original plans, the Konrad shaft should be completed in 2022. After assuming responsibility, the BGE announced in 2018 that this schedule could not be maintained and postponed the expected date of completion by four and a half years to 2027.

The Konrad shaft is intended to hold around 300,000 cubic meters of low- and medium-level radioactive waste, but the underground facility is neither designed nor approved for much more intense, high-level radioactive waste. The plans for a final storage facility for highly radioactive waste are still in a very early phase. A selection process is currently underway to find a suitable location. For decades, Gorleben in Lower Saxony was considered a candidate, but in 2013 the search for a final repository was completely restarted.

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