Nonproliferation
Resource
Fact Sheet

Spent Nuclear Fuel in Germany

Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel in Germany

  • June 1, 2020
  • 9:08 pm

Highlights

8,485 Mg HM spent nuclear fuel in storage (2016)
10,500 Mg HM spent nuclear fuel projected by 2050
1966 First year of commercial nuclear operation
6 operating nuclear power reactors
5 operating research and test reactors
11.4 GW(e) installed nuclear capacity (2017)
11.72% nuclear share of domestic energy production (2018)

Regulators: The Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector (primary); Federal states’ individual regulators
Power Operators: EnKK, PreussenElektra GmbH, Kernkraftwerk Gundremmingen GmbH, Kernkraftwerke Lippe-Ems GmbH

Nuclear Power stations in Germany (as of 2019)

Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel

Practices

  • All but the oldest NPP have both wet and dry storage facilities onsite, while the central storage facilities are all for dry cask storage
  • From the 1960s through the 1980s, Germany developed a pilot reprocessing plant that has been shut down; Germany then sent spent fuel abroad for reprocessing
  • After the 2002 Atomic Energy Act amendment passed, the government banned reprocessing abroad, and there has been no transport since 2005
  • A search for a potential DGR site for radioactive waste and spent fuel will be based on civil society recommendations as outlined in the 2013 Site Selection Act
  • As NPP operation is planned to cease before 2025, research is focused on safe nuclear waste management

Obligations

  • Germany is a party to the Euratom IAEA safeguards agreement (INFCIRC/193) since 1977 and the additional protocol since 2004
  • Germany signed the Joint Convention in 1997 and ratified in 1998
  • Since June 2017’s Act on the Reorganization of Responsibility in Nuclear Waste Management became law, the government has taken over responsibility for radioactive waste storage and disposal, but operators retain responsibility for spent fuel packaging and reactor decommissioning
  • In 2019 the Federal Company for Storage began oversight of onsite storage
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