Nagra preparing drill site in Rheinau

Nagra is starting preliminary work for a drill site in Rheinau. Whether a deep borehole will actually be drilled in Rheinau has not been decided yet.

Nagra, the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste, is considering drilling an additional deep borehole in Zürich Nordost, one of three potential siting regions for a deep geological repository in Switzerland. After drilling in Trüllikon and Marthalen, Nagra is now preparing a drill site in Rheinau, where it would investigate underground faults with a vertical trend. Nagra obtained evidence of the existence of such vertical faults from previously conducted investigations, so-called 3D seismic measurements that are roughly comparable to ultrasound scans. The analysis of these data has shown that a deep borehole in Rheinau could provide information on the faults, which would be of relevance for all three potential siting regions.

The final decision on drilling in Rheinau is still pending. “We have decided to begin with the preliminary work anyway, because construction will no longer be possible once the ground becomes too damp in late autumn”, explains Philipp Senn, Nagra's Deputy Head Public Outreach. “By starting the preliminary work now, the drill site could be ready in the spring of 2021 – just in case we decide to go ahead with the borehole.”

The work will start on 14th September 2020, and actual drilling would not begin before spring 2021. Activities at the adjacent clubhouse of the local shooting association will not be

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