Not a dirty topic – Radioactive Waste Disposal in focus at Essen Expert Talk on Repository Mining

A few days ago we welcomed representatives from industry, research, authorities and press to our Essen campus for our 10th annual Expert Talk on Repository Mining (Essener Fachgespräch Endlagerbergbau).

Following a virtual meeting in 2021, due to the pandemic, the chance to discuss current challenges and exchange ideas face to face was strongly welcomed by over 60 participants from across Germany and the Netherlands. After an opening speech by Managing Director Jens-Peter Lux, they enjoyed four interesting lectures, with the main focus on the process of site search and container concept development for the final disposal of radioactive waste.

A big thank you to our speakers Steffen Kanitz, BGE Federal Company for Radioactive Waste Disposal; Dr. Thomas Schröder, NRG; Dr. Linus Bettermann, GNS Gesellschaft für Nuklear-Service mbH and Dr. Oliver Rabe, TÜV NORD EnSys GmbH & Co. KG.
According to a BGE interim report from 2020, 54% of Germany's land area was identified as regions likely to have favorable geological conditions for a deep geological repository and will be further narrowed down in the next steps. BGE is currently developing a methodology for the preliminary safety investigation, which was shared and discussed with the experts in attendance.
Dr. Linus Bettermann brought us interesting insights into the development of disposal containers for high-level waste in Germany. With the restart of the search for a final repository, new container concepts must now be found for the various host rocks. For this purpose, after explaining the different container concepts for final disposal in salt host rocks, Dr. Bettermann went on to give an outlook on the concept development of disposal containers for crystalline host rocks.
But the focus was not only on Germany, with Dr. Thomas Schröder presenting the Development of Safety Demonstrations for Two Generic Repository Concepts for Deep Disposal of Radioactive Waste in the Netherlands, and Dr. Oliver Rabe presenting a joint project for KORAD (Korea Radioactive Waste Agency). With an urgent need for action on spent nuclear fuel management in South Korea, KORAD has commissioned TÜV NORD EnSys and DMT to form a technical advisory group to assist in the development of a Risk Informed Safety Case and methodology for the Performance Assessment of a deep geological repository for high-level radioactive waste. 
Thanks to all participants for the informative exchange. Please keep an eye out for news on next year’s event and don’t forget to save the date: Join us for the 11th Expert Talk on Repository Mining, 7th September 2023!
Dieter Wittenberg, dieter.wittenberg(at)dmt-group.LÖ 
Nadine Kohl, nadine.kohl(at)dmt-group.LÖ