Media release



Nagra starts second borehole in community of Stadel

As of 22nd January, Nagra is drilling in two areas of the community of Stadel in Canton Zürich. The purpose of the boreholes is to complete the picture of the underground.

As of 22nd January, Nagra is drilling in two areas of the community of Stadel in Canton Zürich. The purpose of the boreholes is to complete the picture of the underground for the Nördlich Lägern region, allowing the safest site to be selected for a deep geological repository.

The National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra) started its second deep borehole in the community of Stadel on 22nd January. The first Stadel borehole, located slightly farther north in the Hasliboden area, started in mid-December. “We’re making good progress here”, says Philipp Senn, Nagra’s Deputy Head Collaboration Sectoral Plan and Public Outreach. “We have already drilled through the first 640 metres.”

Identical goal, varying conditions

The Stadel boreholes are being conducted to bring rock samples to the surface and to carry out tests in the boreholes. The Hasliboden drill site is remotely located along a road leading to a gravel plant, and noise and construction traffic cause hardly any disturbance. The situation is not the same at the second drill site in the Steinacker area that includes residential buildings. “We shield the local residents with a large noise barrier and have to comply with stricter noise emission thresholds than legally required”, Senn explains. In addition, there is a concept for traffic management. Nagra has set up a hotline for questions and concerns regarding the boreholes. “We can be reached 24/7”, assures Senn, and calling the hotline (0800 437 333) is free.

Drilling at the two Stadel boreholes will continue until mid-2021. “We are coming closer to reaching our overarching goal of safely disposing of Switzerland’s radioactive waste”, says Senn. The purpose of the boreholes is to support the decision on which of the three potential siting regions Jura Ost, Nördlich Lägern and Zürich Nordost is the most suitable for hosting a deep geological repository. “Next year, we expect to be able to announce which region is the most suitable from our point of view. This will be an important step towards deep geological disposal, a project of the century for Switzerland”, Senn emphasises. The lead in the site selection process lies with the Federal Government, but the Federal Council and the Swiss Parliament will have the final say – or, if this decision is put to a national referendum, the Swiss voters themselves.

Contact: Patrick Studer, Head Nagra’s Media Office: 076 579 36 50,

According to Swiss nuclear energy legislation, the producers of radioactive waste are responsible for its safe management and disposal. In 1972, the Federal Government and the nuclear power plant operators set up the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra) to perform this task. Nagra, which has its headquarters in Wettingen (AG), is the national technical competence centre in the field of deep geological disposal of radioactive waste.

Out of a strong sense of responsibility for the long-term protection of man and the environment, 130 employees are involved daily in performing this important work. The high level of competence is secured by targeted research programmes in two Swiss underground rock laboratories and intensive international collaboration.

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