Costs and cost distribution of the Konrad repository project
Between 1977 and the end of 2007, the costs of exploration and planning works of the Konrad repository project amounted to 930 million euros.
Estimated expenditure for the construction of the repository
The costs of the conversion of the Konrad mine to a repository are continually recalculated. The company commissioned with the conversion of the Konrad mine, the German Company for the Construction and Operation of Waste Repositories (DBE), has meanwhile submitted an updated estimation of costs to the BfS. Accordingly, the conversion would cost about 3.4 billion euros altogether. This figure is based on assumptions of the DBE, stating 2022 as the year when the construction the Konrad mine will be completed.
However, the data given by the DBE is not reliable, since the company is currently not in a position to gather the information required for an exact estimation of costs. The estimation presented now is currently being subjected to a plausibility and validity check (by the BfS).
Unrealistic estimations at an earlier stage in the 80ies and 90ies assumed an equivalent of around 900 million euros. The last reliable calculations of costs dating from 2012 and 2013 resulted in 2.3 respectively 2.9 billion euros for the conversion. The additional costs result from
- the longer duration of the project until 2022 that has been indicated by the DBE,
- new calculations as well as
- additional performance.
The major part of the costs will go to the DBE (out of 3.4 billion euros about 3.2 billion euros).
Passing on the costs to the waste producers
The costs of the construction of the repository represent the necessary expense pursuant to § 21b AtG (such as planning costs, costs for the purchasing of plots and rights, the construction and the exploration) and are charged to the waste producers by the BfS.
The calculated total costs of the Konrad repository’s construction are to be financed by the public sector (one third) and the utilities (ca. two thirds), depending on the waste producers.
Financial contributions can only be charged after the contributory works have been completed. That was the reason for decreeing the Repository Financing Ordinance (EndlagerVlV) according to the Atomic Energy Act (AtG). Payments in advance are demanded for future contributions and, later on, are settled with them.
Total costs of the Konrad project
The total costs of the Konrad project are mainly based on the construction costs and the operational costs depending on the operating time and further framework conditions (such as the logistics for the delivery of the wastes and the costs of decommissioning after the operational phase).
Background relating to the changes in costs associated with the conversion to a repository
Until the end of the ordinary court proceedings against the repository and until the Federal Administrative Court took a decision about the Konrad licence on 26 March 2007, it had been a political commitment of the federal government and the budgetary legislator
- not to continue the planning,
- not to continue the preparatory construction works, and
- not to carry out comprehensive remediation measures in the mine constructed in 1957.
Thus, the planning documents for Konrad could neither be continued nor updated. Only with the decision of the Federal Administrative Court did the plan-approval decision become effective and enforceable.
Updating the licensing documents
Since 2007 the Konrad mine has been converted to a repository for low-level and intermediate-level radioactive waste. For this conversion, the documents the licence is based on and part of which originate from the 80ies and 90ies need to be revised and updated to the state of the art of science and technology. In this process the previous estimations of costs for the conversion of the Konrad mine to a repository were calculated concretely for the first time on the basis of the present situation, present plans and the outcome of invitations to tender.
Changed framework conditions influence the cost development
The plans of the 80s and 90s were unrealistic. In the process of updating in detail the project schedule, the project cost accounting was updated too. Higher costs are in particular due to business conditions of the private economy. For example, the DBE that has been commissioned as third party with carrying out the mining work in situ justifies the increase in costs with the changing market situation in the past decades. By way of example, only a few expert mining companies are on the market. The DBE also mentions specific increases in costs in certain areas. The changes are attributable to the following factors:
- an extension of the trial period,
- a necessary recalculation of previously planned performance due to current market surveys and tender outcomes,
- changes in the scope of performance,
- a changing market situation in the field of mining up to the bidding market (e.g. there are only few special mining companies in the market),
- specific cost increases in certain areas (such as new types of concrete in the area of building materials),
- general increases in price, wage and salary trends and VAT increase,
- the technical implementation of changes in the submitted plans for the plan-approval decision required in over 500 auxiliary clauses,
- the increased requirements resulting from the updated technical codes such as the DIN, energy saving regulations, etc., as well as
- the state of the existing mine that has continued to deteriorate and now requires comprehensive remediation work.
Due to continuing updating of the original plans, the nearly incalculable development of e.g. prices of raw materials and the already identified risks such as construction in existing contexts, further cost changes cannot be excluded.
State of 2016.07.15