Facilities, Europe, Germany, Government
Mining New Nuclear Solutions
Planning an Underground Nuclear Waste Repository in Germany
After ceasing iron ore production in 1976, the former Konrad mine in Germany was evaluated as a potential repository for radioactive waste due to favorable geological conditions. Following an extensive approval process, the conversion of this mine to a repository is underway. By 2014, the Konrad mine will house about 300,000 cubic meters of nuclear waste from hospitals, research centers and industry.
Applying our unique experience in shaft excavation and numerical analysis, we are planning, designing, providing calculations, assessing rock mechanics and supervising construction of the underground infrastructure of Konrad 2, in a consortium with two partner firms. Our engineers are applying the knowledge gained from their work on the repository shaft in Gorleben and development of geotechnical safety concepts for the repository in Asse, as well as expertise in rock mechanics and structural design.
The preliminary planning and calculations for the new repository in the Konrad mine will be completed by the end of 2010, when underground construction work will start. Construction will involve expanding the diameter of the existing tunnel from 4.5 meters to more than 12 meters to accommodate the transport and storage of nuclear waste containers at the depth of 850 meters. Existing storage transportation routes and adjoining pits must also be expanded. Storage areas, shaft bottoms and bridge onset fields will be developed, as well as workshop facilities, turning points and tank farms. Once complete, the Konrad shaft will ensure secure, long-term disposal of intermediate-level nuclear waste in Germany.