On 25 April 2017, the operator responsibilities for the Asse II mine as well as the Konrad and Morsleben repositories were transferred to the Federal Company for Radioactive Waste Disposal (Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung mbH, BGE). This website of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) will therefore no longer be updated and displays the status as on 24 April 2017. You will find current information at the BGE: www.bge.de
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The Asse mine being a salt mine, it was not intended right from the start to use it as a repository for radioactive waste. The original goal was to exploit the salt deposit in the Asse as effectively as possible. In doing so, chambers were mined that reach up to the outermost edge of the salt layer. The reason for this being a problem for the stability of the mine can be recognised by having a look at the Asse's geology.
In order to be able to operate the Asse II mine care needs to be taken of mining safety, radiation protection and maintenance of all facility components underground and above ground. That also includes the maintenance of buildings above ground such as the maintenance of lightning and fire protection.
Since 1 January 2009, the Asse II mine is subject to the provisions of nuclear law. As responsible operator, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) has to ensure the safe operation of the nuclear facility in order to be able to decommission the facility in an orderly manner.
The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) as the operator of Asse needs to furnish proof that the option chosen for decommissioning does not put at risk man and environment in the area, not even in the long term. According to the present state of knowledge, this can only be achieved by retrieving the wastes from the Asse mine. That is the result of the comparison of options for the decommissioning of Asse. In 2013, retrieval was provided for in the Atomic Energy Act.
The prime aim in the decommissioning of the Asse II mine is the long-term safety of man and environment. According to the present state of knowledge, this can only be achieved by retrieving the waste from the Asse mine. Since 2013, it has also been a legal mandate to retrieve the radioactive wastes.