Switzerland Presents Plan For Deep Geological Nuclear Waste Repository

Swiss radioactive waste disposal cooperative Nagra officially announced the site which will host a deep geological storage repository for radioactive waste. Nördlich Lägern, located in the northern part of Canton Zürich (Switzerland), will be the place of Nagra’s “project of the century“.

Nördlich Lägern has the largest safety reserves and is, in Nagra’s opinion, the most suitable site for a deep geological repository for all of Switzerland’s radioactive waste. Safety criteria are at the core of the site selection process: the safety of humans and the environment has the highest priority.

Extensive investigations led by Nagra have shown that, in Nördlich Lägern, the rock has the best containment capacity to enclose the waste today and in the distant future. Moreover, Nördlich Lägern has the largest underground area suitable for construction, thus providing the greatest flexibility for the layout of the repository.

The entrance to the repository, the so-​called surface facility, is to be constructed in the “Haberstal” area in the community of Stadel in Canton Zürich. Nagra plans to construct the encapsulation plants at the already existing Zwilag interim storage facility in the town of Würenlingen in Canton Aargau.

Nagra will now prepare the general licence applications, which it expects to submit to the federal government in 2024.

Read the Nagra Full Report.

Experts worldwide agree that a deep geological repository is the safest option for the long-​term disposal of radioactive waste. This means isolating the waste at a depth of several hundred meters below earth in a stable matrix, surrounded by artificial barriers. Together, the natural and artificial barriers will guarantee long-term safety.

Read more on nuclear waste on ENS Nuclear Basics.