Germany to Resume Search for Nuclear Waste Site, Minister Says

Germany will restart the search for a site to store its most dangerous nuclear waste, working to achieve a “national consensus” on the issue first, the environment minister said.

Norbert Roettgen said today he’d work with the country’s 16 state governors on a law enabling the search by next summer. Roettgen wouldn’t say how long it would take to decide on a site, only that there would be “no taboos” on the location.

“This is a watershed point,” he said after meeting representatives from the states in Berlin for the first such talks on the issue in 35 years. “We will not pass this on to a foreign country or the next generation.”

The decision signals Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition is backing away from a plan to put the waste in Gorleben, a town in the nation’s north along the Elbe River that’s been the focus for efforts to situate a facility for decades.

Germany, which seeks to shutter its atomic reactors by 2022, has spent more than 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) of taxpayers’ money since the 1980s to determine whether the Gorleben site is appropriate. A previous government of Social Democrats and Greens blocked research at that site for 10 years through 2010.

The public and scientists will be integrated into the process to strike a consensus and find “the safest possible” site, Winfried Kretschmann, the governor of Baden-Wuerttemberg, said at the briefing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.