Jura Ost (L/ILW 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 L/ILW repository
The siting region is located in the Deformed Tabular Jura and is bounded geologically by the Jura Main Thrust (to the south), a regional fault (to the north) and the depth of the host rock (to the east 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 23.4 square kilometres.
The geological siting region Jura Ost for a potential L/ILW repository with the optimised disposal perimeter and the siting area JO-3+ for the surface facility.
Canton Aargau: Bözen, Brugg, Effingen, Elfingen, Gallenkirch, Gansingen, Herznach, Hornussen, Kaisten, Laufenburg, Linn, Mönthal, Oberbözberg, Remigen, Riniken, Ueken, Unterbözberg, Villigen, Villnachern, Zeihen
Results of the safety-based comparison in Stage 2
The geological siting region Jura Ost for a L/ILW repository has a large availability of space in the preferred depth range and offers extensive possibilities for optimising the disposal perimeter, which is balanced in terms of depth. The effective containment zone (Opalinus Clay in combination with confining units) has very good barrier properties. The geological situation is also suitable with regard to long-term stability.
Siting area identified for the surface facility
The siting area JO-3+ for the surface facility of a potential L/ILW repository in the Jura Ost siting region is located in the community of Villigen, close to the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and the centralised interim storage facility (Zwilag). The area 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 with 3D seismics and exploratory boreholes in Stage 3. Definitive site selection will be made in Stage 3, with the initiation of the general licence process as required 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 Nagra’s four discussion proposals for a siting area for the surface facility in the region Jura Ost. These were considered by the region, represented for this purpose by the regional conference, and were then supplemented and evaluated.
Based on the outcome of these discussions, the regional conference asked Nagra to prepare an optimised “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 recommended by the regional conference for further consideration as it has the most advantages and the fewest disadvantages. Based on the collaboration with the region and the siting Canton, Nagra has designated JO-3+ as a potential area for locating the surface facility of a L/ILW repository. The siting area lies in the community of Villigen.
Together with the siting region, the further design of the surface facility and possibilities for optimisation will be concretised in the coming years and will be integrated into a possible general licence application.
|Geographical location of the JO-3+ siting area (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 L/ILW repository.|
|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 L/ILW repository.|
|Possibility for integrating the surface facility into the surrounding environment (photorealistic representation, L/ILW repository).|
The Opalinus Clay in the Jura Ost siting region is suitable as a host rock for a low- and intermediate-level waste repository
The Opalinus Clay is around 175 million years old and reaches a thickness of around 110 metres in the siting region. It makes the main contribution to the barrier function of the overall system. There are uncertainties regarding the upper confining units (Passwang Formation und Lower Acuminata strata) and these have to be taken into account in the evaluation. However, they do not have any influence on the selection of the siting regions. The lower confining units (Clay-rich Lias) are comparable in their barrier function with those units in the east facies area. The siting region has a very favourable space availability at the preferred depth.
After optimisation, the disposal perimeter for a deep geological repository for L/ILW in the Jura ost siting region comprises 23.4 square kilometres.
Vertical geological 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.)||Nagra announces its proposals for potential siting areas for the surface facility at a media conference held by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE). These proposals serve as the basis for discussions within the framework of regional participation.|
|2011 (30 Nov.)||The Federal Council decides to include the geological siting region Jura Ost in the continuing Sectoral Plan process. Stage 1 of the process is complete and Stage 2 has been 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 geological siting regions based on a review of safety and engineering feasibility criteria.|
|2009 (10 Dec.)||Announcement of the provisional planning perimeter by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE).|
|2008 (11 Dec.)||Together with representatives from ENSI and Nagra, the SFOE provides information on the proposals for geological siting regions at an event in Oberbözberg.|
|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.|
|1993||Completion of the site investigations for low- and intermediate-level waste disposal, comparative assessment of the results for the four potential sites, proposal of the Wellenberg site.|
|1991 – 1992||Regional seismic investigations between the river Aare and Lake Constance (2D seismics).|
|1988||Recognition by the Federal Council of the feasibility and safety of disposing of low- and intermediate-level waste in Switzerland.|
|1985||Submission of Project Gewähr to the federal authorities (demonstration of the feasibility and safety of disposing of all types of radioactive waste in Switzerland).|
|1983 – 1984||Riniken (AG) deep borehole.|
|1982 – 1984||Regional seismic investigations in the area Olten - Schaffhausen.|