Site selection

Repository site selection is conducted within the framework provided by the Sectoral Plan for Deep Geological Repositories, as specified in the Nuclear Energy Act and the Spatial Planning Act.

The aim of the procedure, which is led by the Federal Government, is to identify sites for repositories as part of a broadly based transparent process. Safety has highest priority, but socio-economic and spatial planning aspects also play an important role.

The search is for safe sites that fulfil all the protection objectives specified by the authorities; repository implementation also has to be reasonable from a spatial planning perspective. The Sectoral Plan approach allows effective coordination of all aspects of a repository that impact on spatial planning and ensures timely involvement of the Cantons, local communities and authorities of neighbouring countries, as well as the public and interested organisations.

Where are we now in the site selection process for deep geological repositories?

On 30th January 2015, Nagra presented the geological siting regions Jura Ost and Zürich Nordost as its proposals for further investigation in Stage 3 of the Sectoral Plan process. All the siting regions were evaluated and compared in terms of safety in line with the requirements specified by the Federal Government. The proposed siting regions are suitable for both deep geological repositories for low- and intermediate-level waste (L/ILW) and high-level waste (HLW). Nagra’s proposals are currently being reviewed by the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI).