GNS Gesellschaft für Nuklear-Service announced on 8 May that the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) had agreed to take over GNS's interim storage activities.
Under legislation that came into force last December, the government assumed responsibility for the intermediate storage and final disposal of radioactive waste. In March, BMUB and GNS established the Bundes Gesellschaft für Zwischenlagern (BGZ) joint venture for this purpose. GNS itself is a joint venture set up in 1974 by German utilities for the management of used fuel and nuclear waste from German power reactors.
Under the agreement, GNS’s share in BGZ will be transferred to BMUB from 1 August this year, making the federal government sole owner of BGZ. GNS will transfer its interim storage activities to the government, including the existing central interim storage facilities in Ahaus and Gorleben. Some 80 GNS employees at both sites will be transferred to BGZ, while around 70 GNS employees at its headquarters in Essen will become responsible for the administration of BGZ. The management of 12 on-site interim storage facilities at German nuclear power plants will also be transferred to the federal government starting in 2019, GNS said.
PreussenElektra GmbH chairman Guido Knott, who is also chairman of GNS's supervisory board, said: "By transferring the interim storage activities of GNS and, subsequently, the on-site interim storage facilities to the government, German energy suppliers are making an important contribution to the reorganisation of the responsibility for radioactive waste disposal."