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?

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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