German minister wants to separate utilities from repository company

12 May 2009

The federal minister for the environment, nature protection and reactor safety, Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) intends to reduce the influence of the nuclear power plant operators on the German company for construction and operation of repositories for waste, DBE Technology GmbH.

He is demanding that DBE, which is presently 75% owned by the nuclear utilities, be put under government control.

DBE was set up by the German Atomic Energy Act as a third party to design, construct and operate the federal repositories for radioactive waste. At present, DBE maintains the Gorleben exploration mine and manages the Konrad mine in Salzgitter. Furthermore, DBE operates the former repository for radioactive waste in Morsleben (ERAM) and participates in its closure preparations.

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