Schacht Konrad

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Photo of the Schacht Konrad final repository mine

Information on the Final Repository Schacht KONRAD


Schacht KONRAD, the Konrad pit, is a decommissioned ore mine in the industrial heart of the steel city Salzgitter. Between 2013 and 2080, it is envisaged to deposit 303,000 m³ of solid or solidified radioactive waste with negligible thermal activity in this mine and keep them safe for a million years. This includes waste from nuclear reprocessing that contains plutonium, as well as operational waste from the energy industry and nuclear research. The federal government expects that the portion of nuclear waste from medical applications will lie in the order of a thousandth. These 303,000 m³ may contain 865 kg of plutonium.

20,000 industrial jobs and high-grade agricultural areas are located in the immediate vicinity of KONRAD.

Time Line

  • 1957-65 Drilling and construction of the ore mine Schacht KONRAD.
  • 1965-76 Mining activity – from the start, the iron ore mining is under high financial and rationalization pressure (1,000 - 1,300 m depth, sour ore, Fe-content >33%) and is stopped again in October 1976 after only 10 1⁄2 operational years. The works council proposes to use the mine for other purposes, such as the storage of problematic waste.
  • 1976-82 Exploration – Schacht KONRAD is examined for its suitability as repository for low level radioactive waste and large size components from the dismantling of nuclear power plants.
  • 31/08/82 Application for the initiation of a plan approval procedure. As reaction the so far largest demonstration against the project takes place with 12,000 participants on October 30, 1982.
  • 1985/86 Fundamental extension of the plan application. The criterion for the reposition is changed from dose rate (low and intermediate level) to degree of thermal activity: The surrounding host rock should not be warmed by more than 3 degrees. This would allow to deposit 95 % of the German radioactive waste in KONRAD.
  • 1991 The federal administration issues a directive to force the public display of the plan documents; across Germany 289,387 objections are entered that are delivered to Hanover on July, 13, with a convoy of tractors and handed over to Monika Griefahn, then environmental Minister of the state Lower Saxony.
  • 1992/93 Between September '92 and March '93, a 75-day marathon hearing takes place preluded by a demonstration with 7,000 people rallying against KONRAD.
  • 2000 For the atomic treaty the federal government and the nuclear energy industry agree on an approval of KONRAD.
  • 22/05/02 The state approves the plan. The environmental Minister of Lower Saxony, Jüttner (SPD), and the Federal Minister for the Environment, Trittin (Green Party), blame each other for being responsible.
  • 2002-07 Law suits entered by an agricultural family and three municipalities fail first at the OVG (higher administrative court) Lüneburg, and later at the BVG (federal administrative court) in Leipzig. Both farmer Traube and the city of Salzgitter enter a constitutional appeal that, however, has no further dilatory effect. The appeal of the city Salzgitter is rejected, while the decision in the second case has not yet been issued.


Schacht Konrad iron mine

Safety Issues

The calculations for the longterm safety are mainly based on assumptions, not on data. These calculations are now several decades old, not on the current scientific level and have been questioned.

Operational dangers, stemming for example from the many transports in the dense industrial area around Salzgitter, were not considered in the approval. A catastrophe could lead to a considerable radioactive contamination across several kilometers, so that no one should stay in this area for a prolonged time period.

A EU-wide usage cannot be legally ruled out anymore. Foreign deliverers cannot be controlled, and as a detailed receiving control is not planned this could have devastating consequences.

The possibility of a drowning of KONRAD is deliberately taken into account and also conceded by the operator. The planned repository lies in a groundwater-conducting layer, which has direct contact to the biosphere between Braunschweig and Wolfsburg. Consequently, the repository does not meet the requirements laid out by the BfS in its synthesis report in 2005 for questions concerning the reposition of nuclear waste. Both in this report, as well as in the AkEnd (a board of experts on reposition), it is concluded that a future repository should lie in maiden geological strata and not in a mine that has been economically used. This should ensure that the barrier function of the overburden has not been over strained, as in the cases of Asse and Morsleben. This barrier has the key function in reposition concepts in deep geological strata, but is not intact in KONRAD. Therefore, the isolation potential of the mine is insufficient.

A further danger stems from the delivered waste while it is on the pit grounds. The transport into the mine will not follow immediately after the delivery and a temporary storage will be required. However, this has neither been labeled nor approved as de facto temporary storage.


  • The approval of Schacht Konrad cannot be permitted to take effect!
  • Based on the experiences from ASSE II and Morsleben, the concept of a maintenance-free irretrievable final reposition needs to be reevaluated.
  • Following the reevaluation of the reposition concept, the best achievable solution for the existing and newly produced nuclear waste needs to be sought. This means that in the framework of a solely national solution a search for a location needs to be started without prior fixing onto Konrad and Gorleben.
  • No further waste of tax money through the development and extension of Schacht Konrad!

Independent Organizations...

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Schacht KONRAD e.V.

Bleckenstedter Str. 14a | D-38239 Salzgitter
Tel.: +49 5341/900194 | Fax: +49 5341/900195
info AT[1]

Bündnis Salzgitter gegen Schacht KONRAD

c/o IG Metall Salzgitter
Chemnitzer Str. 33 | D-38226 Salzgitter
Tel.: +49 5341/884425 | Fax: +49 5341/884420
ina.biethan AT[1]

... Support

Besides your active contribution, you can support our criticism concerning the final repository for nuclear waste through a donation to one of the following organizations:

  • Account Holder: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Schacht KONRAD
  • IBAN: DE81250100300378752308
  • Bank: Postbank Hannover


Download this text as a flyer (A4, 2 pages, 600dpi) in German or English

External links

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