BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe

Final disposal of radioactive wastes in deep geological formations of Germany. Investigation and evaluation of argillaceous rock formations, June 30, 2009

This study identifies and evaluates argillaceous rocks as potential nuclear repository host rocks in partial areas in Germany and was published in 2007. Because of the great demand BGR now releases the english print version of the so called "Clay study".

Due to the different nuclear repository concepts investigated internationally, a range of different host rocks have also been studied to assess their suitability for the final disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Argillaceous rocks play an important role in different countries due to the respective national geology. This was why the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) was engaged in 2003 by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) to elaborate a study investigating and evaluating argillaceous rock formations suitable for the final disposal of heat-generating, high-level radioactive waste in Germany.

The investigation of argillaceous rocks which complements the previous studies was based on host-rock-independent exclusion criteria and minimum requirements elaborated in 2002 by the Committee on a Site Selection Procedure for Repository Sites (AkEnd). This was supplemented by internationally recognised host-rock dependent selection criteria for argillaceous rocks. Other criteria considered essential from a geo-scientific point of view for the regional selection of argillaceous rock formations in Germany were also incorporated in the evaluation.

The study is based on the available and utilisable data from maps, archive material and approx. 25,000 wells. No additional field or laboratory investigations were conducted.The study did not result in the determination of nuclear repository sites.

BGR used its many years of experience to publish catalogues in 1994 on the salt and crystalline rock formations in Germany. These findings are still largely up to date and valid:

  • Final disposal in deep geological formations in Germany of high-level radioactive waste generating significant amounts of heat – investigation and evaluation of regions in non-salt formations (Bräuer et al. 1994);
  • Final disposal in deep geological formations in Germany of high-level radioactive waste generating significant amounts of heat – investigation and evaluation of salt formations (Kockel und Krull 1994).

Download "Clay Study" (PDF, 29 MB)


Another report summarizes the BGR investigation and evaluation of regions with potentially suitable host rock formations for a geologic nuclear repository in Germany: Download (PDF, 800 KB).

For free print copies contact info@bgr.de.

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