Gorleben (Germany)

Map of Gorleben

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Interim storage for spent fuel elements (TBL): license for 3800 t waste, only German storage for vitrified HLW
Pilot Waste Conditioning Plant (PKA)
Storage for LILW (ALG); license for 15000 m3 conditioned waste
Planned Site for a final repository
Gorleben is situated in Lower Saxony, Lüchow-Dannenberg

Problems with CASTOR: see www.greenpeace.de

Facilities in Gorleben

plantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down
GorlebenInterim Storage for Spent Fuel
Gorleben Final RepositoryFinal Repository
Gorleben LILW StorageStorage for LILW1984
Gorleben Waste ConditioningPilot Waste Conditioning Plant2000

The Federal Office for radiation protection (BfS) approved a new version of the Castor radioactive waste container. The new version was changed slightly and optimizes the screen of the dangerous neutron radiation.


Six containers of nuclear waste were shipped from France to Gorleben. It was a three-day trip marked by large scale protests. Two cargoes per year are expected to travel from La Hague to Germany´s radioactive waste interim storage site at Gorleben. Further shipments of HLW (high-level waste) form BNFL´s Sellafield plant are also likely to begin within the next few years.


The German Government has put a moratorium to the possible exploration of Gorleben as German´s final repository.


German nuclear utilities have accepted the requirement by Federal Minister of Environment & Nuclear Safety Angela Merkel that a future nuclear transport company be fully independent of the power industry as well as from the reprocessing companies to which the fuel is sent.
Reorganization of the transport system was one of ten points in a plan presented by Merkel to the industry in May, in response to revelation of a decade of unreported contamination problems with spent fuel convoys.
At present, nuclear fuel transports are handled by Nuclear Cargo & Service mbH. and its subsidiary Nuclear Cargo Ltd., majority-owned by German Rail. The firms have worked closely with utilities to organize the spent fuel transports up to now.


The Court in Lueneburg (Oberverwaltungsgericht) decided that Castor transport vessels are allowed to be stored at Gorleben. It was said that there is no seismic risk to the interim storage.

After 13 years of legal proceedings it is the first substantial legal ruling for the interim storage both of used fuel elements and of waste from reprocessing.


Several thousend people protested against transports of used fuel elements towards Gorleben.
Actions followed also the transports of Castor transport casks which came from La Hague reprocessing plant.