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Repository design

The repository mines are the technical prerequisite for the safe handling of radioactive waste during the operating phase and – after the closure measures have been completed – for the long-term safe enclosure of the radioactive waste. The mines are divided into the surface facilities and the mine workings, each divided into nuclear and conventional areas. Even though near surface repositories are lacking of underground infrastructure, the main principles for the development of repository designs are also valid for these facilities.

The mine workings need to be adapted to the geologic conditions. The concept of a repository needs to take into account the characteristics of the host rock, the waste inventory, the regulatory requirements, the mining and emplacement technology, and the safety concept. The repository concept is specified and detailed in a multi-phase process.

The development of the repository concept is followed by the repository design, which translates the design requirements of the safety concept, the regulatory guidelines, the geologic site conditions, analyses of operating processes, and technical requirements into technical designs for facilities“, systems, and components. We cover all these activities based not only on our many years of experience gained in the repository projects Asse, Morsleben, and Konrad, but also gained in the activities we performed for our partners.


Our range of expertise in the field of repository design includes:
  • Design of repositories for all kinds of radioactive waste in various host rocks and at various depths
  • Assessment and evaluation of alternative concepts
  • Preparation of repository designs, taking into account the geology, the regulatory framework, the safety concepts, and operational/technical requirements
  • Detailed planning of plants, systems, and components up to manufacture and commissioning, including licensing  in accordance with technical regulations and CE certification
  • Safety assessment of repository concepts


  • Support of BGE in the Konrad project
  • Design of a HLW repository in bedded salt formations (R&D project KOSINA)
  • Design of a HLW repository in clay formations (R&D projects ERATO and ANSICHT)
  • Development of a repository concept for heat-generating radioactive waste in German crystalline formations (R&D project KONEKD)
  • Preliminary safety analysis of the Gorleben site (VSG)
  • Feasibility studies for repository concepts in Belgium, Bulgaria and Irak