She firmly rejects all suspicions and insinuations that the federal government did not act according to law and order in the 1990s, the former federal environment minister told the gorleben inquiry committee of the bundestag on thursday.
She did not try to establish facts for gorleben too hastily: "the word "without alternatives" has not been used in connection with gorleben."From 1994 to 1998, merkel was responsible for the search for a repository for highly radioactive waste.
In 1977, the salt dome on the former GDR border was selected as the only option to be explored under circumstances that are still disputed today. In 1983, under the government of chancellor helmut kohl (cdu), testing began at a depth of more than 800 meters.
During merkel’s time in government, the issue was whether even a small part of the salt dome could suffice as a final repository because of opposition from landowners. The chancellor defended herself against the accusation of a cheap solution: "the costs did not play a role."
But the focus of the questioning was whether merkel had suppressed a search for alternatives. In 1995, a study by the federal institute for geosciences and natural resources (BGR) also classified other sites as potentially worthy of investigation. Merkel said at the time that the analysis showed that gorleben would remain the first choice.
Gorleben was not compared with the other 40 sites. SPD, greens and left see this as proof that merkel had ruthlessly stuck to gorleben. Particularly controversial was a passage played in committee from an SWR interview in which merkel said that the report clearly showed that there was no better site than gorleben. The greens accused her of lying to stifle a debate on alternatives. This is what merkel rejected.
The SPD chairwoman of the committee, ute vogt, also accused merkel of telling the truth. Merkel countered that she may not have been "so perfect" in her language back then.
The chancellor said her statement at the time was the conclusion of the whole picture. The BGR analysis was merely a literature study based on geoscientific findings and had nothing whatsoever to do with gorleben. Motto had not been to bet on gorleben at any price. "Nevertheless, we were able to stick to it."
There were no scientific reasons for abandoning gorleben because of safety concerns. "Until the end of the 13. During the second legislative period (1994 to 1998), there was no reliable evidence to indicate that gorleben was unsuitable."This is still the case today. Greenpeace nuclear expert mathias edler countered after the questioning that it had already been clear in 1995 that gorleben was unsuitable, among other things because of a lack of sufficient cover rock.
A statement by merkel on the possible further exploration of gorleben as a site for a nuclear waste repository caused confusion. She could not understand why a site that had already been explored for a long time should not be explored to the end. The SPD interpreted this as a rejection of a new search for a repository.
No final agreement has yet been reached between the federal government and the federal states. But it was agreed that gorleben should not be explored further in such a procedure, but should be compared with alternatives without creating further facts.
In government circles, merkel only wanted to point out that gorleben should remain in the pot in the event of a new search. This could lead to a final decision on the suitability or unsuitability of the site, which had been the focus of attention since 1977. It was merkel’s second appearance in a bundestag investigative committee. In february 2011 she testified in the kundus committee. The members of the gorleben investigation committee drew completely different conclusions from the questioning. A common lesson learned from the committee’s two and a half years of work, however, was that the future search for a final storage site for highly radioactive mull must never again be as flawed as it was at gorleben.