Jura Ost (HLW repository)
At the beginning of 2015, Nagra proposed the geological siting region Jura Ost (AG) for further investigation in Stage 3. ENSI also recommended at the end of 2016 that Jura Ost should be investigated further.
The region in the precursory folding zone of the Aargau Jura mountains is one of the six potential siting regions for a deep geological repository confirmed by the Federal Council.
Geological siting region Jura Ost for the HLW repository
The siting region is located in the deformed Tabular Jura and is bounded geologically by the Jura Main Thrust (to the south) and the depth of the host rock (to the east, north and west). The strata dip slightly to the south-east and show quiet bedding, strongly reminiscent of the relatively undisturbed Tabular Jura.
After optimisation, the disposal perimeter comprises 15 square kilometres.
|The geological siting region Jura Ost for a potential HLW repository with the optimised disposal perimeter and the siting area JO-3+ for the surface facility.|
Canton Aargau: Brugg, Effingen, Elfingen, Gallenkirch, Linn, Mönthal, Oberbözberg, Remigen, Riniken, Unterbözberg, Villnachern, Zeihen
Results of the safety-based comparison in Stage 2
Despite the restrictions relating to the depth of the host rock with respect to erosion in the future, the geological siting region Jura Ost for a HLW repository is suitable in terms of the space available in the preferred depth range. The effective containment zone has good barrier properties. Because of the limited depth, erosion could reduce the barrier function of the upper confining units and the formation of erosion channels in the distant future cannot be ruled out. However, dose calculations assuming an erosion channel show that the ENSI protection objective would still be met.
Nagra proposes the geological siting region Jura Ost for further investigation in Stage 3.
Siting area designated for the surface facility
The siting area JO-3+ for the surface facility of a potential HLW repository in the Jura Ost siting region lies in the community of Villigen, close to the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the centralised interim storage facility (Zwilag). It was identified by Nagra in September 2013, based on collaboration with the region.
Next steps in the Sectoral Plan process
The proposals submitted by Nagra will be reviewed by the authorities and this will be followed by a public consultation process. At the end of Stage 2 – expected for 2018 – the Federal Council will decide which siting regions will remain in the process. These regions will then be investigated in more detail in Stage 3 using 3D seismics and exploratory boreholes. Definitive site selection will be made in Stage 3, with the initiation of the general licence procedure as specified by the Nuclear Energy Act.
The operation of a deep geological repository requires a surface facility.
In Stage 2, in January 2012, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) presented the four proposals made by Nagra for the siting area for the surface facility in the region Jura Ost.
These were discussed, supplemented and evaluated by the region, represented by the regional conference. Based on the outcome of these discussions, the regional conference requested Nagra to prepare a “slope variant” JO-3+ based on the original JO-3 siting proposal. Canton Aargau also requested Nagra to prepare an additional siting proposal at Effingen railway station, meaning that a total of six proposals were included in the evaluation. The JO-3+ siting area was then proposed by the regional conference for further consideration as it has the most advantages and the fewest disadvantages.
Based on cooperation within the framework of regional participation, Nagra designated siting area JO-3+ as the potential area for locating the surface facility of a HLW repository. The siting area lies in the community of Villigen.
The decision of the Federal Council at the end of Stage 2 is expected for 2018. This represents the definitive decision as to which siting regions will remain in the process and will be further investigated in Stage 3. This is followed by further collaboration with the remaining siting regions on the concrete design of the surface facilities and possibilities for optimisation for integration into a possible general licence application.
|Geographical location of the siting area JO-3+ (surface facility for a repository for L/ILW, HLW or a combined repository).|
Siting area JO-3+ for the surface facility
|Potential configuration of the components of the surface facility for a HLW or combined repository (common infrastructure for the HLW and L/ILW repositories).|
|Orthophotograph of the lower Aare valley with the JO-3+ siting area and possible access via a new bridge over the River Aare in the direction of Zwilag. The area is located in the community of Villigen. To the east, the facilities of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) are located on both sides of the river. The area in red shows the space required for the surface facility of a HLW or combined repository.|
|Possibility for integrating the surface facility into the surrounding environment (photorealistic representation, HLW or combined repository).|
The Opalinus Clay in the Jura Ost siting region is suitable as a host rock for disposal of high-level waste.
The Opalinus Clay is around 175 million years old and reaches a thickness of around 110 metres in the siting region. It provides the main contribution to the barrier function of the overall system. Regarding the upper confining units (Passwang Formation and Lower Acuminata strata), there are uncertainties that have to be taken into consideration in the evaluation, but these have no influence on the selection of the siting regions. The lower confining units (Clay-rich Lias) have a comparable barrier function to those in the east facies area. The long-term stability is assured by the geological situation. Despite the limitations relating to the depth of the host rock, the siting region is suitable in terms of the space available in the preferred depth range.
|After optimisation, the disposal perimeter for a deep geological repository for HLW in the Jura Ost siting region comprises 15 square kilometres.|
Geological profile from west-south-west to east-north-east through the Jura Ost siting region. The grey arrow marks the Opalinus Clay.
Geological rock profile showing the rock strata occurring in the Jura Ost region.
Questions about the siting region
|2016 (22 March)||The SFOE publishes the Federal Office for the Environment’s review of the EIA preliminary investigations for the Jura Ost and Zürich Nordost regions.|
|2015 (30 Jan.)||The SFOE announces Nagra’s siting proposals. The geological siting regions Zürich Nordost and Jura Ost will undergo further investigation in Stage 3. They are suitable for a HLW, L/ILW or combined repository. The other siting regions will be placed in reserve. The proposals (safety-based comparisons, EIA preliminary investigations...) will be reviewed by the authorities, followed by a public consultation process. The Federal Council decision on Stage 2 is expected for 2018.|
|2014 (24 May)||Nagra presents the planning studies for the designated siting areas NL-2 and NL-6 for the surface facility at a full meeting of the regional conference for Nördlich Lägern.|
|2014 (15 May)||Nagra presents the planning study for the designated siting area ZNO-6b for the surface facility at a full meeting of the regional conference for Zürich Nordost.|
|2013 (4 Dec.)||Nagra presents the planning study for the designated siting area SR-4 for the surface facility at a full meeting of the regional conference for Südranden.|
|2013 (Sept.)||Nagra presents the planning study for the designated siting area JO-3+ for the surface facility at a full meeting of the regional conference for Jura Ost on 26th September. The planning studies for the designated siting areas in the regions Jura-Südfuss and Wellenberg are also presented in September. The planning studies for the other three siting regions will follow in the coming months.|
|2012 (20 Jan.)||At a media conference held by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), Nagra announces its proposals for potential siting areas for the surface facility. These will serve as the basis for discussions within the framework of regional participation.|
|2011 (30 Nov.)||The Federal Council decides to include the siting region Jura Ost in the further Sectoral Plan process. Stage 1 of the process is completed and Stage 2 initiated.|
|2010 (1 Sept.)||Start of the public consultation phase on Stage 1 of the site selection process for deep geological repositories.|
|2010 (26 Feb.)||The Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) approves Nagra's proposed siting regions following a review of safety and engineering feasibility aspects.|
|2009 (10 Dec.)||Announcement of the provisional planning perimeter by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE).|
|2008 (11 Dec.)||Oberbözberg. Together with the ENSI and Nagra, the SFOE provides information on the proposals for geological siting regions.|
|2008 (6 Nov.)||Announcement by the SFOE of the proposed siting regions for deep geological repositories.|
|2008 (2 April)||The Federal Council approves the conceptual part of the sectoral plan for deep geological repositories.|
|2006 (28 June)||The Federal Council approves the „Entsorgungsnachweis" project, but rejects the request for identification of a site as being premature.|
|2005||Submission of a report setting out the options, in terms of potential host rocks and siting regions, for disposal of high-level waste (NTB 05-02, in German).|
|2002||Submission of the „Entsorgungsnachweis“ feasibility study for high-level waste to the Federal Council. The project is based on the example of the Opalinus Clay in the Zürcher Weinland.|
|1991 - 1992||Regional seismic investigations between the river Aare and Lake Constance (2D seismics)|
|1983 - 1984||Riniken (AG) borehole|
|1982 - 1984||Regional seismic investigations in the area Olten - Schaffhausen|