The chairman of Germany’s nuclear waste committee sharply criticised Sweden’s proposed site for radioactive waste on Tuesday (19 January).
“I have seldom seen such a disorderly and also dirty situation as there,” Michael Mueller told a group of journalists at a seminar organised by non-profit organisation Clean Energy Wire.
Sweden is planning to store highly radioactive waste underneath the site of a nuclear plant in the coastal town of Forsmark, around 100 km north of Stockholm.
Last year, Finland approved the construction of an underground repository at the island of Olkiluoto, and other countries have yet to begin the process of selecting a site where radioactive waste can be stored permanently.
Michael Mueller leads Germany’s commission on the storage of highly radioactive waste materials, which is in charge of defining criteria on the basis of which the German government can decide where to build its long-term storage facilities for radioactive waste.
He said a European approach to the problem was preferable but unlikely.
“I think it would be good if there was a European solution, but only if everybody accepts the standard that we go for the best possible solution. But if I look at Europe now, I see that the positions diverge so widely that I find it very hard to imagine a European solution is possible,” he said.
“I can tell you, with our commission we have travelled to different countries. What I saw in Sweden, I didn’t really find this very convincing. Even less in Finland, where it seems the solution is you buy a peninsula, you start drilling and see what happens. This is nothing that would be possible in Germany.”
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