Site selection procedure for a repository for heat-generating radioactive waste

The Repository Site Selection Act (Standortauswahlgesetz, StandAG) entered into force on 27 July 2013. The purpose of the site selection procedure, according to the StandAG, is to identify a repository site in Germany for high-level radioactive waste using a transparent and science-based procedure. The site should guarantee the highest possible level of safety over a period of one million years.

The selection procedure is phased and includes multiple concluding decisions to be taken by the Bundestag and the Bundesrat at each phase. Prior to the initiation of the actual site selection procedure, a Commission on the Storage of High-Level Radioactive Waste, consisting of a plurality of members, will make key determinations (Sections 3ff. of the StandAG).

According to the legal provisions, the Commission will draw up a report by the middle of 2016 and must adopt it by a two-thirds majority (Section 3 (5) of the StandAG). The report will explore radioactive waste management issues relevant to the decisions to be made and will propose a basis for decision-making and selection criteria. Exclusion criteria, minimum requirements and weighing criteria, chosen scientifically and transparently, will be drawn up by the Commission as recommendations. This is then to be approved as an act in the Bundestag and used as a legally binding basis for the remainder of the site selection procedure (Section 4 (5) of the StandAG).

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