According to the Nuclear Energy Ordinance, the retrievability of high-level waste has to be considered when designing the repository. The technical feasibility of retrieving the waste has to be demonstrated in experiments on a 1:1 scale before the repository starts operation.
If a decision is made to retrieve waste during emplacement operations or during the monitoring phase prior to closure of the repository, this will be possible with relatively little effort. At a later stage, the effort required will be correspondingly greater as the access to the emplacement tunnels will have to be opened. However, retrieval still remains possible.
Retrieval in the future may be of interest particularly for spent fuel that still contains uranium and plutonium that can be used in energy production.