Oil Report

Germany to explore potential nuclear waste site-paper

BERLIN, March 13 (Reuters) - The German environment ministry has given the go ahead for a site in northern Germany to be explored further as a potential final storage site for nuclear waste, German weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported on Saturday.

The ministry took the decision last week and expects the investigation of the Gorleben site in Lower Saxony to last up to ten years, the magazine said.

A ministry spokeswoman declined to comment on the report and said Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen would be holding a press conference on the topic of Gorleben on Monday.

Storage of nuclear waste is a politically charged issue. There is no definitive agreement on a suitable site and convoys transporting waste to interim storage sites are regularly hounded by protesters.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right government has said it wants to extend the lives of national nuclear plants.

However, rifts inside her cabinet over the merit of rival renewable energies and a local election potentially threatening her party’s leadership of a key state have delayed steps to prevent the 17 reactors from closure. [ID:nLDE6230KX] (Reporting by Hans-Edzard Busemann and Sarah Marsh)