Lagerbehälter mit abgebrannten Brennelementen in einem Zwischenlager


Until a suitable repository is commissioned, radioactive waste will remain in interim storage. There are 15 storage facilities for high-level radioactive waste in Germany, including 12 decentralised storage facilities directly at the power plant sites and three centralised storage facilities at Ahaus, Gorleben and Lubmin.

Medium and low-level radioactive waste is currently stored at the on-site storage facilities and at state collecting points.
The majority of the central and decentralised storage facilities are operated by the federally owned Gesellschaft für Zwischenlagerung (BGZ). The Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BASE) is responsible for licensing the storage facilities. Supervision of proper operation is carried out by the competent authorities of the Länder concerned. 

Our tasks

GRS studies, evaluates and anticipates phenomena that may have an impact on safety during the storage of radioactive waste, starting with the question of how nuclear fuel in spent fuel assemblies changes over many decades to securing storage facilities against attacks and sabotage. We use our knowledge to advise the federal government and Land authorities on the storage of low, intermediate and high-level radioactive waste. Our work covers the following topics:

  • long-term behaviour of fuel assemblies 
  • calculations on shielding and inventory of radioactive waste
  • fundamental research on material behaviour 
  • collection, examination and evaluation of mass balances of irradiated fuel assemblies and of waste from reprocessing
  • methods for securing and monitoring storage facilities
  • participation in national and international committees

Project highlights Storage

Brennelement eines Kernreaktors
Long-term behaviour of fuel assemblies in storage during significantly longer storage periods
2018 - 2020

GRS scientists have dealt with this issue as part of a research project which not only comprised investigations regarding storage casks but also studies of fuel assembly behaviour.