|Where are the wastes today?|
When repositories become operational in a few decades, visitors to the siting regions will probably ask: “Where is the repository?” Only the surface facilities will be visible and will resemble a medium-sized industrial facility. The disposal tunnels and caverns lie deep beneath the surface. People will live and work in the area above the repository, without being exposed to any danger.
Some people are afraid that a repository will have a negative impact on the economy and society in a region. However, several studies have shown that a repository project will lead to a better quality of life: it creates workplaces and brings contracts to local companies. There are disadvantages, such as noise and additional traffic during the construction phase, but, considered overall, the advantages will outweigh these. And, most importantly – geological repositories offer the greatest possible safety for humans and the environment.
The surface facilities of a high-level waste repository could look like this.
(Image: maars, Zürich)