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Radioactive waste leaking at German storage site: report

More than 400 barrels of low-level nuclear waste reportedly have to be examined and possibly repacked at a storage facility in Lower Saxony. 

The contents are predominantly from X-ray and cancer therapy waste. According to a report from NDR, North German Public Radio, there are hundreds of barrels of low-level nuclear waste at an interim storage facility in the town of Leese, in Lower Saxony, that have to be examined for leaks and possibly re-packed and resealed in new barrels.

State environment minister Olaf Lies of the SPD told DPA news agency on Sunday that there are 442 barrels that have to be checked for moisture formation inside the barrel.  Some of the barrels have to be dried, while others, which contain highly toxic substances, have to be re-packed and sealed, NDR reported. The operator of the interim storage facility, Eckert & Ziegler, told DPA they would "not comment on speculations from third parties in other media."

It has divided Germany for decades but now, it seems, an end could be in sight. A newly-formed commission will soon start working on a plan for a permanent nuclear waste storage site in Germany. So far, Gorleben, in Lower Saxony has been considered the country's number one proposed site, despite constant protests from environmentalists and locals.

Radioactive waste from the federal state has been stored in Leese for years. According to NDR, the barrels contain medical waste from X-ray surgeries or cancer therapy. There are a total of 1484 barrels. The storage facility is located in an industrial area of Leese, about 100 meters (330 feet) from a furniture warehouse, a recycling yard and a paintball facility.

The Ministry publishes the results of the radioactive measurements on the fence in Leese. According to the report, no increased radiation has been detected at the former ammunition factory. But behind walls that are one meter-thick, the radiation is up to 2600 times higher.  As for the future, there is a tender offer document that says, 'All barrels are to be processed by the end of 2025.'

Source: Deutsche Welle


Päivitetty/Updated: 16.04.2018

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