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Waste Management

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In the working field “Waste Management”, GRS is the only institution in Germany with comprehensive interdisciplinary expertise in this wide range of tasks. GRS has the relevant knowledge and experience in the field of disposal of radioactive and chemotoxic waste as well as in the assessment, in particular, of safety-related questions. The instruments and methods necessary for a safety-analytical assessment have been developed and qualified within the framework of research activities over many years. The participation in committees and co-operation activities, as well as the presentation of the work in international scientific forums ensures the required state of the art in science and technology with regard to expertise and development of procedures.

A continuous increase can be observed in the demand for “waste disposal competence” required on the one hand for the technical assistance in federal supervision and an the other hand for the support of the licensing authorities of the Länder as well as for the federal authorities dealing with waste disposal. The current plan approval procedures require a high degree of competence. Therefore, special attention has to be paid to the further development of the state of the art in sciences and technology. This requires, in particular, research activities on repository safety, development work for the introduction and verification of proof methods, as well as the participation in and observation of international projects and developments. This applies both to the experts consulted by the applicant for a repository and by the Federal Government.

The competence fields “Fuel Supply and Waste Management”, “Radiation Protection”, “Transport Safety” and “Waste” concern safety-related analyses for all plants and processes of the nuclear fuel cycle. Even after the decision on phasing out the peaceful use of nuclear energy, a constant volume of contracts with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour (BMWA) is to be expected in the medium term.

The competence fields “Waste Disposal”, “Assessment of Long-term Safety”, “Geochemical Research”, “Research in Underground Laboratories” and “Geochemical and Geotechnical Laboratory” are mainly oriented towards safety analyses and geosciences. Priority is given to the development of methods and instruments for the performance of safety analyses and experimental research on the examination of waste disposal concepts and the provision of data and models that are relevant with regard to safety in the long term. The results of the Committee on a Site Selection Procedure for Repository Sites (AkEnd) clearly show that there is a need for research in nonsaline rock formations and in the practical application of the research results in site selection procedures and waste disposal concepts