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Nuclear waste in Germany : public participation in search for a repository Harrell

The question of where in Germany the beam Contamination will be in the future incorporated, is tricky. By the middle of 2020 eligible regions should be named to 2031 as a location for high-level radioactive nuclear waste should be found. The competent Federal office for the regulation of nuclear disposal safety (BfE) has come under criticism. It is intended to inform, create transparency and the participation of the Public. However, the office does not only inadequate, critics say.

tungsten king, since 2016 BfE-President, are: "friction, you will not be able to avoid. It can also be the target of participation, and exclude them.“ In an interview in the Berlin headquarters of the office he says: "rather, they are necessary in order to generate the social and political interest, in order to find the best possible solutions."

in 2016, the BfE was one of twelve employees. Around 200 people now work in the Federal office, 23 of them in public Relations. Currently, the BfE shall inform the municipalities about the procedure, as in Hamburg and Frankfurt in the past week. But Thorben Becker of the Federation for environment and nature conservation (BUND), is dissatisfied: "We see a very skeptical, how the BfE for public participation activities. It is, as yet, barely more than an information character,“ said the nuclear expert. "A lot depends on the beginning of the procedure. So we are very dissatisfied. Now, trust needs to be built up,“ says Becker. "It would be fatal to believe that the processes of the final disposal take place without a fight."

Bruno Thomauske, Professor of Nuclear engineering at the RWTH Aachen University, writes: "the involvement of the General Public in the site selection process is not yet succeeded. A concept does not seem to exist.“ The former Radiation protection of the Federal government was sitting as a representative of the science until 2016, to the Commission for final disposal. Today, he says: "It is not expected that eligible regions will face a Repository to be positive. Dispute and conflict are to be expected, as soon as a potentially suitable regions to be designated.“ And further: "Against a Region of a Repository, will not be ultimately enforceable."

criticism of the public Relations work of the BfE

FEDERAL-employees Becker reported from district Council decisions taken in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Thuringia, the critically with a nuclear waste disposal site. The appropriate presence of BfE not be recognizable. "Why don't you go there if you want to come up with municipal representatives into the conversation? It brings nothing to go to the disputes out of the way,“ says Becker. What about participation in the site selection law, especially before the identification of possible areas, was too little. "No one is stopping the BfE, to establish previous participation forms."

The Sfoe sees itself as a Federal office building, reports of planned events in the course of the year, in order to inform cities, counties and municipalities early on in the search for a repository. "Our responsibility is that, regardless of the interests were broad and comprehensive information about the procedures," says king. In the future, it is also important to go in churches and schools, young people speak today, even in responsibility.

BfE-President Wolfram König,photo: picture alliance/dpa/ Sophia Kembowsk

Depending on your target audience, you offer now a dialogue and information formats. "What are the needs articulated but a population of ten to 15 years, we cannot say today with certainty. Therefore, we need a learning process, and our approach must continuously be questioned.“

the preparations for hosting the conference, at the mid-2020 the eligible regions for a Repository are presented, are already underway. How much the Public ultimately involved will be, who the actors are, and the weighting between policy, science and social groups, is according to the BfE. This is also dependent on the potential regions, the Federal Corporation for disposal determine. Now, the key is to build trust, as king.

"signals that can revoke the trust in a fair trial"

king alludes to the passage in the Bavarian coalition agreement, to exclude a Repository in the free state. "It contradicts the procedure, to which Bavaria with all of the other States agreed. The signals, which can revoke the trust in a fair trial,“ says king. "This is the only tangible reasons and not political boundaries may militate against the more detailed investigation of individual regions."

criticism, king also to the publication of the Anti-nuclear organization ".broadcast“, which designates, on the basis of geological maps of possible locations. "It is not a special performance, the Internet, old geological maps to draw out and interpret these for his partial interests," says king. "With a responsible, systematic, and scientifically-based approach, as required by the site selection law, that has to do nothing."

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When it comes to trust, then also timing play a role. They are specified in the law. "In the repository Commission it was said that transparency and openness are the basic principles of the site selection process. However, the crucial actors do not adhere to it,“ says Thomauske. The search for a repository will take decades, the Public will not be communicated. "You start with a beginning lie in a process that requires credibility." You do well to stay in terms of the challenges and schedule, humble, king. "The decision-making processes need to be clocked, so that the Repository can be offered in a reasonable time."

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