The Nuclear Energy Act calls for submission to the federal authorities of a project demonstrating the feasibility of radioactive waste disposal.
Those responsible for disposal have to show that potential sites can be found in Switzerland where repositories can be constructed and operated using present-day technology; these have to fulfil the long-term safety requirements defined by the authorities.
For spent fuel (SF), vitrified high-level waste (HLW) and long-lived intermediate-level waste (ILW), Nagra has demonstrated disposal feasibility for the example of the Opalinus Clay in the Zürcher Weinland. The reports documenting this study were submitted to the federal authorities in 2002. In June 2006, the Federal Council and its supporting authorities came to overall conclusion that the legally required demonstration for these wastes was successful. This was not a siting decision, but only a demonstration of the feasibility in principle of constructing a geological repository in Switzerland, as required by the nuclear energy legislation. The demonstration serves as a basis for the Federal Council for defining future procedure in the waste management programme.
The demonstration of disposal feasibility for low- and intermediate-level waste was approved by the Federal Council in 1988.