The question where radioactive waste will be disposed of will be answered definitively in the coming years. The selection process for the one to two sites for geological repositories is conducted in accordance with the conceptual part of the Sectoral Plan for Deep Geological Repositories, which was approved and implemented by the Federal Council in April 2008. The site selection process has three stages and is led by the federal authorities (Swiss Federal Office of Energy).
In the first stage (2008 – 2011), potential geological siting regions suitable for the construction of safe repositories were identified. The second stage of the process is now underway, with the aim of concretising the repository projects in the six siting regions and comparing the regions with one another. The decisive criterion is safety.
A key component of the second stage is regional participation, which gives representatives from the siting regions the opportunity to bring their interests and concerns into the process. Working together with Nagra, they will also decide where the surface facility for the repository will be located. As a basis for these discussions, Nagra has proposed potential areas for each siting region.
The process will end in around ten years with the granting of the required general licences for a high-level waste repository and a low- and intermediate-level waste repository.