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“Sea rise would inundate German nuclear waste dumps”

German nuclear opponents say a predicted rise in sea level of up to seven and a half metres in the next ten to thirty years would inundate the Gorleben nuclear waste depots and put radioactive isotopes into the biosphere.
It's one of the arguments a coalition of anti-nuclear groups has put to the authorities against declaring the north German village of Gorleben a priority area for the disposal of nuclear waste.

Gorleben, between Hanover and Hamburg, is the site of a hall in which so-called Castor containers are held until a final repository is available, and an exploratory mine in a huge salt deposit favoured by politicians and the power industry for final dumping.

Geologists and other experts have long said that the salt deposit near the River Elbe is unsuitable because it has contact with ground water and aquifers.

The Landesverband Bürgerinitiativen Umweltschutz (LBU), which groups environmental activists in the state of Lower Saxony, where Gorleben is located, has filed its objections to the state government in Hanover.

As one of its catalogue of reasons against declaring Gorleben a priority nuclear waste disposal area the LBU argues that climate researchers and meteorologists are predicting a rise in sea level of up to 7.5 metres in the coming 10 to 30 years.

"The final repository site would be inundated by incalculable water break-ins and radioactive isotopes would get into the biosphere," a media release says.

"When the [nuclear waste dump] location was named in 1977, no one thought that such dangers would be possible.

"The draft of the 2006 Lower Saxony land zoning programme (Landesraumordungsprogramm, LROP) determines the exploratory Gorleben mine and the neighbouring interim storage for radioactive waste in Gorleben as 'priority area' [for waste disposal]."

The Gorleben nuclear opponents, Bürgerinitiative Umweltschutz Lüchow-Dannenberg (BI), criticise the "hasty move" of the state government as the "definition of a priority area for deadly radiation".

"This is yet another move to thwart an open-ended search for a final repository location and to ensure that more nuclear waste can be produced. Instead of searching for final repository locations a decision is taken here and other uses are totally excluded."

The complete statement of the LBU can be called in from  bi-presse@t-online.de . Author of the release is Francis Althoff, phone #49 (0) 5843-98 67 89.