Asse nuclear waste storage mine ‘may not be fixable’

The Lower Saxony Environment Ministry is not sure it can fix the Asse nuclear waste storage facility which is threatening to partially collapse, according to Der Spiegel.

Asse nuclear waste storage mine 'may not be fixable'
Photo: DPA

It was admitted last week that the roof in one of the underground chambers where 6,000 barrels containing nuclear waste, was instable and could fall onto the waste.

The ministry still hopes to be able to continue using other parts of the former salt mine, although this may be over-optimistic.

Nuclear storage expert Joachim Bluth from the ministry told the magazine: “It is not only in the specific chamber, but the whole of the 750-metre deep mine is creaking and groaning.”

He said the stabilisation measures being planned, such as filling the cracks in the ceiling with concrete, would take a long time to take effect.

“An improvement is only going to be measureable in eight to ten years at the earliest,” said Bluth.