Nuclear Imperatives and Public Trust: Dealing with Radioactive Waste

By Luther J. Carter | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Germany: Wastes, Fuel Cycle Choice, and Politics

The Gorleben Salt Dome Project

The geologic investigation of the salt dome at the village of Gorleben in Lower Saxony is the most advanced effort in the world to establish a repository for high-level waste from commercial nuclear power facilities. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant project in New Mexico is further along, but that repository will be for transuranic waste from nuclear weapons programs. The Germans are gambling boldly, even a bit imprudently, by investigating only one kind of rock (dome salt) and a single site (the Gorleben dome) without identifying back-up sites. If the Gorleben dome is confirmed as a geologically acceptable site, construction of a repository could begin by the mid 1990s, probably putting the Germans ahead of every other country in establishing such a facility. But a repository at this salt site, or at any salt site, will almost certainly not allow retrievable storage of spent fuel (see chapter 5). This could be important in the light of controversies currently raging in Germany over fuel reprocessing--controversies which may yet lead to reprocessing's abandonment, long deferral, or severely constrained development.

When the Gorleben project was conceived some ten years ago, it was to be much more than a nuclear waste repository. But much has changed since then. There may be no better way into the political thicket of German nuclear fuel cycle policies and prospects than to start with an account of what has happened at Gorleben.

The Gorleben salt dome is at an elbow of the Elbe River, which forms the frontier between the Federal Republic of Germany ( FRG, or West Germany) and the Democratic German Republic (DDR, or East Germany), and extends beneath the Elbe several miles into East Germany. This part of Lower Saxony is devoted principally to agriculture and forestry, and is about as far removed from the mainstream of the highly


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Nuclear Imperatives and Public Trust: Dealing with Radioactive Waste


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 480

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?