Germany to publish nuclear storage list, Gorleben dropped

FRANKFURT, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Germany on Monday will publish a list of potential storage sites for radioactive waste as part of its plans to exit nuclear power, with parliamentary sources saying the Gorleben salt dome in Lower Saxony has been dropped from the running.

The list of sites, to be assessed by 2031 for use from 2050 to hold waste currently in interim storage at nuclear plants, will be published by Germany’s Federal Agency for Final Storage (BGE).

Some 90 locations, including parts of Lower Saxony, Bavaria, Baden Wuerttemberg and eastern German states, have been found to be potentially geologically suitable after BGE undertook preliminary mapping, the sources said.

BGE on Sunday held talks with the federal government, state governments and parliamentary factions ahead of the announcement.

Germany had been on a course to exit nuclear power since 2000 but hastened the plan, now set for 2022, following the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011.

Gorleben, which became the focus of anti-nuclear protests in the 1970s, was found to be geologically unstable, making it unsuitable in the eyes of BGE, the sources told Reuters.

Nuclear utilities E.ON, RWE and EnBW have spent hundreds of millions of euros on the search for suitable locations, including Gorleben, as part of decommissioning obligations which include dismantling their power plants. (Reporting by Markus Wacket and Vera Eckert, editing by Jason Neely)