The transport of high-level radioactive waste includes the transfer of spent fuel elements to an interim storage facility and the return of waste generated during reprocessing.

Waste from reprocessing plants

Until 2005, spent fuel elements from Germany were brought to France and England for reprocessing. The residual materials produced during reprocessing must be taken back to Germany. Between 1996 and 2011 twelve transports took place from the French reprocessing plant in La Hague. During the transports, a total of 108 casks 3000 HLW canisters with heat-generating vitrified waste were brought to the Gorleben interim storage facility.

Another three transports with a total of 20 CASTOR® HAW28M containers with glass moulds from the reprocessing plant in Sellafield, England, which are to be stored in the interim storage facilities of the nuclear power plants in Biblis, Brokdorf and Isar, are expected to take place from 2020. In addition, a further five CASTOR® HAW28M casks with intermediate level radioactive waste from reprocessing in La Hague will be transferred to the Philippsburg interim storage facility.

GNS coordinates repatriation

GNS coordinates the repatriation of reprocessing waste on behalf of the German nuclear power plant operators. All transports as well as the transport casks must be approved by the Federal Office for Nuclear Waste Management Safety (BfE). The BfE follows the recommendations of the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under the EURATOM Treaty.