L/ILW siting regions

On 21st November 2018, the Federal Council decided that in Stage 3, Nagra should conduct final investigations of the siting regions Jura Ost, Nördlich Lägern and Zürich Nordost.

Current status of the site selection process

Nagra submitted its proposals for Stage 2 of the site selection process at the beginning of 2015, announcing which siting regions it planned to investigate in more detail in Stage 3.

The Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) reviewed the associated documentation and presented its initial conclusions in December 2016. ENSI agrees that the siting regions Jura-Südfuss, Südranden and Wellenberg should be placed in reserve; these were investigated for a repository for low- and intermediate-level waste (L/ILW). ENSI also agrees that the regions Jura Ost and Zürich Nordost should be investigated further in Stage 3. However, the safety authority is of the opinion that Nördlich Lägern should also be carried forward into Stage 3 as the reasons given for placing it in reserve are not sufficiently reliable. All three siting regions are suitable for a repository for high-level waste (HLW) and low- and intermediate-level waste (L/ILW), as well as for a combined repository.

The justification for ENSI's decision and its final evaluation are expected for spring 2017. Following a period of open consultation, the decision of the Federal Council on Stage 2 is expected for the end of 2018. Stage 3 of the process can then begin.

Work to date

The Federal Council completed Stage 2 on 21st November 2018. Stage 3 is currently underway.

Nagra is conducting in-depth investigations and a final comparison of the remaining three siting regions Jura Ost, Nördlich Lägern and Zürich Nordost. The investigation programme includes previously conducted seismic investigations as well as Quaternary investigations and deep boreholes. The deep borehole investigations are being conducted to complete an overall geological analysis of the siting regions.

Based on the results of these investigations and the safety-based comparison of the siting regions, by around 2022, Nagra will announce for which site or sites it will prepare general licence applications. Nagra expects to submit them by 2024.

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