The site selection process has to be as transparent as possible in order to ensure wide acceptance of the repository projects on the part of the public. An early draft of the conceptual part of the Sectoral Plan was therefore presented to the Cantons and neighbouring countries for their opinion. Organisations and members of the public were also given the opportunity to put their views forward in workshops and focus groups. Following the revision of the existing version of the Plan, an official public consultation phase was held and the Sectoral Plan was then approved on 2nd April 2008. These open consultation phases, during which the Cantons, interested organisations and the public have three months to submit their views on the proposals, take place in each of the three stages of the Sectoral Plan process. At the beginning of the first stage, the Federal Government contacted the affected Cantons with a view to forming a Cantonal Commission. This Commission supports the Federal Government throughout the entire site selection process and has the power to make recommendations. Neighbouring countries are also kept informed in each stage. The affected communities in the siting regions are involved continuously in the collaborative process. The public is also informed at regular intervals about the ongoing activities. From Stage 2, regional participation enables the public to be involved in the process through regional conferences and their associated technical groups and to bring their wishes and concerns into the process. The main topic for the regional conferences is currently the siting of the surface facility for the repository; together with Nagra, they will decide on the location and layout of the facility.
Swiss Federal Office of Energy: Regional participation
Participatory approach to identifying the siting areas