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Row over German nuclear waste plans

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Row over German nuclear waste plans


Germany’s environment ministry has come under fire after giving the go-ahead to explore the potential of a disused salt mine at Gorleban for a final storage site for nuclear waste.

The mine was once used as a temporary repository but a ten-year moratorium was imposed after a scandal revealed the site was unsuitable for the job.

Germany’s Environment Minister, Norbert Röttgen has however, agreed to take a second look.

“We have a responsibility, no matter whether one is in favour of nuclear energy or not. We have to ensure that the final storage facilities comply to the highest safety levels. To that end we must carry out necessary research.”

The decision to reinvestigate the site has not gone down well with local residents. But while nuclear power remains unpopular with much of the German public, the country relies on it to provide up to a quarter of its energy needs.

The ruling coalition plans extend the lives of 17 ageing nuclear plants, over turning a previous government decision to shut them down by the next decade.

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