It will not be known until 2046 at the earliest where the German nuclear waste can be disposed of. According to the “Federal Society for Disposal”, the search could take twenty years longer. It will be years before nuclear waste is actually stored.

The site for a German nuclear waste repository is apparently not fixed until the middle of this century – at the earliest. This emerges from an internal document from the Federal Agency for Disposal (BGE), which is available to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. In it, the state-owned company, which is commissioned to search for potential locations, examines two “exemplary scenarios” for the selection. In the faster scenario, it could be clear by 2046 where the nuclear waste should be stored. In the other, more complex, the preparatory work will take until 2068. Mind you, until the decision is made. Only then will the construction of the repository begin.

The new numbers are far beyond any previously mentioned timeline. “The determination of the location is aimed at for the year 2031,” says Paragraph 1 of the Site Selection Act. It was only announced on Thursday that the previous requirements could not be met. The evaluation of geological data and the development of the necessary methods require more time, says Steffen Kanitz, a managing director of BGE: “The effort has gradually arisen.”

But last December, the BGE had assured that the goal of 2031 would not change. “At the moment, we have no reliable information that gives rise to doubts that the target will be met by 2031,” wrote the BGE leadership at the time to the responsible supervisory authority, the Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (Base).