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Germany may not see proper nuclear waste storage for decades via DW

The Germany government has already begun procedures to shut down all of the country’s nuclear reactors. A committee called to make a plan for the country’s nuclear waste problem has said it may take until next century.

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The first challenge is to find an appropriate site. One possible place is the controversial, and small, waste facility in Gorleben in Lower-Saxony, which has long been the flashpoint of intense confrontation between police and anti-nuclear activists. Though Müller said that other sites were also being looked at, and there had been no decision on Gorleben as of yet.

Governments ‘irresponsible’

The backlash, not only from Germany’s strong environmental movement but also from the press, was swift and clear. Jochen Stay of the anti-nuclear group “Ausgestrahlt” accused the commission of having “delayed” making any real decision.

“The recommendations they’ve made are so vague that they could justify choosing any site,” Stay said.

Newspaper Badisches Tagblatt claimed that state governments who refused to even entertain the idea of a storage facility in their region, especially those of Saxony and Bavaria, were being “politically irresponsible” by employing “St. Florian’s principle,” a German term of phrase which means to avoid responsibility by handing it to someone else.

Another daily, the Flensburger Tageblatt, accused the government of “putting itself in conflict with the interest of its citizens,” by not having conceived of a storage plan before it began to phase out nuclear power. The storage options for the interim are not safe, the paper argued.

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