The Party and the Ballot Box Sun Jul 14, 2019 22:24 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan
What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith
The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith
Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh
Spirit of Contradiction >>
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005
Elaine Byrne: Lacking moral courage to name names
Real democracies and referendums Anthony
Public Services Card: Some still forced to comply Anthony
Catholic Church: Dark influence still active Anthony
Tom Parlon launches new career in comedy Anthony
Public Inquiry >>
A bird's eye view of the vineyard
Why America Leads the World in Covid-19 Cases Thu Apr 09, 2020 19:54 | amarynth
By Eric Zuesse for the Saker Blog At of the start of the day on April 9th, the United States, which has 4.2% of the world?s population, had 28.7% of
Moderation Policy (UPDATED April 4th, 2020) Thu Apr 09, 2020 18:26 | admin-herb
Moveable Feast Cafe 2020/04/09 ? Open Thread Thu Apr 09, 2020 15:30 | Herb Swanson
2020/04/09 14:30:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of
Ukraine and Georgia publicly humiliated at the UN Thu Apr 09, 2020 04:57 | Scott
by Ruslan Ostashko Translated by Nikolai Subtitled by Scott In addition to the impotence of the European Union and the crash of western unity, the coronavirus pandemic also clearly showed
Hard Times For U.S. Forces In Northeast Syria Thu Apr 09, 2020 02:22 | Scott
Hard Times For U.S. Forces In Northeast Syria. Army Prepares For Idlib Escalation The Syrian Army and local self-defense forces have carried out an operation against ISIS cells hiding in
The Saker >>
A Blog About Human Rights
Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights
Turkish President Calls On Greece To Comply With Human Rights on Syrian Refugee Issues Wed Mar 04, 2020 17:58 | Human Rights
US Holds China To Account For Human Rights Violations Sun Oct 13, 2019 19:12 | Human Rights
UN Human Rights Council Should Address Human Rights Crisis in Cambodia Sat Aug 31, 2019 13:41 | Human Rights
Fijian women still face Human Rights violations Mon Aug 26, 2019 18:49 | Human Rights
Human Rights in Ireland >>
Radioactive leaks in Germany
Tuesday July 08, 2008 09:37 by Anne Fitzgerald
Radioactive leaks from the nuclear waste deposits in Germany
Confirmation that radioactive brine has been leaking for two decades from a German underground deposit for nuclear waste is yet another blow to the idea that nuclear power can safely increase electricity generation and simultaneously reduce emissions.
Radioactive leaks from the nuclear waste deposit Asse II near Braunschweig in Lower Saxony, some 225 km southwest of Berlin, were first discovered in 1988. The state-owned Helmholtz Institute for Scientific Research, which operates the centre, officially admitted the leaks only Jun. 16, under pressure from the German press.
Helmholtz spokesperson Heinz-Joerg Haury told German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung that researchers "did not consider that the leaks were worth a declaration to the press. We did not have the feeling that the public would be interested in knowing that radioactive brine is leaking in Asse II."
Asse II, a former salt mine, is the oldest nuclear waste deposit in Germany. The abandoned mine was transformed into a deposit for nuclear waste in 1967, following the scientific hypothesis that rock salt pits are the best geological structure to store radioactive waste.
But in 1988, radioactive brine started to leak through the mine's walls. The site operator never informed the public.
Germany officially has four deposits for nuclear waste. Two other sites, Gorleben and Morsleben, are also abandoned rock salt mines. A fourth, Schacht Konrad, also in Lower Saxony, is a former iron mine.
No one has yet found a durable solution for storing nuclear waste, that remains highly radioactive for centuries.
France continues to deposit thousands of tonnes of highly radioactive waste into its nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at La Hague on the Normandy Atlantic coast, close to the English Channel.
In Germany, power plant operators have been "temporarily" storing nuclear waste in Gorleben, some 150 km northwest of Berlin. They are waiting for the government to decide whether it is geologically suitable as a definitive storage site.
Morsleben was the German Democratic Republic deposit for radioactive waste, and is now being dismantled (former East and West Germany reunited in 1990). Asse II is officially considered a "research site".
By June 2008, some 80,000 litres of a radioactive salt solution had accumulated there. The brine, eight times above the radioactivity limit, has been pumped to a deeper level, but some 30 litres of radioactive brine continue to leak every day.
In Germany, the maximum limit of radioactivity for material stored in open air is 10,000 Becquerel per kilogram. The Becquerel is the standard international unit of radioactivity, equal to one radioactive disintegration (change in the nucleus of an atom when a particle or ray is given off) per second.
Caesium 137, the chemical that is setting off the radioactivity from the brine, is produced from the detonation of nuclear weapons and as a by-product from nuclear power plants. It was most notably released into the atmosphere from the 1986 Chernobyl accident.
The Helmholtz institute is seeking to minimise the risks. "The Caesium 137 (detected in Asse II) will have lost its radioactivity in 90 years," Haury told the press. "Until then, the salt solution containing it is 950 metres deep, and safe."
Many others are not so sure.