ZLN (Zwischenlager Nord – interim repository north)
Operating since 1997, the ZLN was intended to serve as a repository only for nuclear waste from the deconstruction of the two East German NPPs Rheinsberg and Lubmin (Greifswald).
It is located on the grounds of the former Nuclear Power Plant Greifswald in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in the north east of Germany. The storehouse has 20,000 sqm and is oversized for the purpose it was built for. It has eight segments. While segments 1-7 are for low and medium radioactive waste, segment 8 contains the high radioactive nuclear fuels in Castor containers. Up to 80 are permitted.
The ZLN does not have a hot cell, where damaged Castor containers could be repaired and isolated in an emergency.
The ZLN is operated by the state-owned EWN (Energiewerke Nord GmbH) and is the only federal interim storage in Germany. Because EWN took over the WAK (nuclear reprocessing plant) in Karlsruhe and the AVR Jülich research reactor, the nuclear waste from there is planned to be stored in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern as well. The federal state and the concerned communities do not have influence on these decisions.
In late 2010 and early 2011, two nuclear waste transports to the ZLN are planned. The nuclear waste comes from the former German nuclear ship "Otto Hahn", the KNK research reactor in Karlsruhe and 60,000 litres of high-level nuclear waste and vitrified nuclear waste come from the WAK in Karlsruhe. Enriched with 16kg of Plutonium and 500kg Uranium the "nuclear soup" from Karlsruhe is one of the most toxic waste accumulations of Germany's nuclear industry.
The costs of the waste disposal are covered mainly by taxpayer's money, because the industry has capped their share. The budget committee of the German Bundestag has approved a financial planning of more than 1 billion EUR for further operation of the ZLN beyond 2039 until 2080. The course is set for long-term storage of nuclear waste. An expansion is probable and aimed at by the EWN. In 2009, they have asked for the permission of storage of low and medium radioactive waste from all over Germany for an unlimited period. So far, there is only a permission for buffer storage for 10 years.