Unterweser interim storage facility

The Unterweser interim storage facility in the District of Wesermarsch, Lower Saxony, went into operation with the emplacement of the first CASTOR® V/19 type cask on 18 June 2007. The City of Nordenham, the District City of Brake and the municipalities of Stadland, Ovelgönne, Loxstedt and Hagen are all situated within a radius of 10 kilometres. The site grounds belong to Rodenkirchen in the Municipality of Stadland, District of Wesermarsch. The licence under the Atomic Energy Act for the storage of nuclear fuels in the Unterweser interim storage facility expires 40 years after emplacement of the first cask. BGZ has been responsible for operating the Unterweser interim storage facility since 1 January 2019.

The interim storage facility is located within the confines of the Unterweser nuclear power plant site on the western bank of the River Weser. This means that CASTOR® casks only need to be moved a short distance from the reactor building to the interim storage facility and that no public roads need to be used. The interim storage facility grounds are located on an around 0.9 hectare fenced-in area on the roughly 50-hectare overall site.

The reception and storage areas, as well as parts of the operating area, are located in the interim storage facility storage building. The reception area is adjacent to the western side of the storage area. The two areas are separated by a shielding wall. The storage area covers a total area of approximately 1,350 m². Around 750 m² of this area are actually used for storage purposes. The facility stores 80 casks in 16 rows, each with 5 spaces.

The current state of the licensing procedures for high-level radioactive waste interim storage facilities can be found on the website of the federal office for the Safety of nuclear waste management (BASE). Here.

Unterweser interim storage facility
(Lower Saxony)

Dedesdorfer Str. 2
26935 Stadland

Cask spaces: 80 licensed | 40 occupied*
Current occupancy: 40 CASTOR® V/19
Application: 1999
License: 2003
Commissioning: 2007
Licensed until: 2047
Licensed inventory: Maximum 800 t SM** | Maximum 3 MW***

* On 10 June 2020
** t SM = Tonnes of heavy metal
*** MW = Total thermal power in megawatts

Interim storage facility for low-level and intermediate-level waste

BGZ operates the Unterweser 1 and Unterweser 2 interim storage facility for low-level and intermediate-level waste. These facilities are used to store residues from the operation and dismantling of the Unterweser nuclear power plant, in particular, until this waste can be put safely into final storage at the Konrad repository.

The packaged low-level and intermediate-level waste consists, for example, of contaminated plant components, tools, protective clothing or used filters. AZU 1 was commissioned in 1981; AZU 2 in 2020. As the low-level and intermediate-level radioactive waste produced during the operation and dismantling of the nuclear power plant is stored here, these interim storage facilities play an important role in the dismantling of the nuclear power plant.

Interim storage facility for low-level and intermediate-level waste (AZU 1)

Commissioned: 1981
Licensing / Supervisory authority: Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Climate Protection, Lower Saxony
Facility’s external dimensions:
71 m x 29 m x 8 m
Licensed storage volume:
max. 2.600 m³

Interim storage facility for low-level and intermediate-level waste (AZU 2)

Commissioned: 2020
Licensing / Supervisory authority: Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Climate Protection, Lower Saxony
Facility’s external dimensions:
79 m x 28 m x 17 m
Licensed storage volume:
max. 5.000 m³