Project of the century: a deep geological repository for Switzerland

For the protection of humans and the environment: With a deep geological repository, we can solve the problem of radioactive waste disposal rather than passing the burden on to future generations.

A Swiss project of the century

Our mission is to dispose of radioactive waste once and for all.

We want to solve the problem of radioactive waste now rather than passing the burden on to future generations. The solution to this problem is to construct a deep geological repository. After decades of research, we can now say that we have developed a safe concept for Switzerland and identified an ideal rock. The Nördlich Lägern siting region is the most suitable site for a deep geological repository. We are now ready to undertake the disposal of radioactive waste – together with you.

How the project of the century of a deep geological repository works

A series of safety barriers prevents radioactive substances from reaching the earth’s surface and thus also the human habitat.

Mehr erfahren

Which site is Nagra proposing and why? Four questions for Nagra CEO Matthias Braun

Nagra’s siting proposal

Read this detailed report for a better understanding of our siting proposal for the deep geological repository.

Our arguments

Nagra’s siting proposal explained

What’s new at Nagra?

The surface facility at Haberstal

The surface facility for the deep geological repository is to be constructed in the Haberstal area in the community of Stadel. Nagra has selected this site in collaboration with the region and Canton Zürich.

The surface facility

The encapsulation plants will be constructed at the site of the interim storage facility in Würenlingen. Synergies with existing facilities and environmental considerations were the main factors supporting this decision.

How do you find a site for a nuclear repository?

The search for a site

Our approach

Nagra investigated the whole of Switzerland in its search for the most suitable site for a deep geological repository. Potential siting regions were narrowed down until, finally, the three most promising sites were investigated in depth using deep boreholes and seismic surveys. The investigations revealed that all three potential siting regions, Jura Ost, Nördlich Lägern and Zürich Nordost, are suitable. Today, we know that Nördlich Lägern is the most suitable and has the largest safety reserves.

Why Northern Switzerland?

The search for the most suitable site for a deep geological repository is regulated in a Sectoral Plan process of the Federal Government.

Nagra facts


Nagra facts

Deep boreholes drilled since 2019

Since 2019, Nagra has drilled nine deep boreholes. On average, these reached a depth of around 1,000 metres and penetrated more than 10,000 metres of rock. A total of 6,000 metres of drill cores were brought to the surface. Over 4,000 samples were analysed in laboratories in Switzerland and abroad, e.g. in Japan and Australia.

Nagra’s deep boreholes.

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The future

Nagra moves towards construction phase – and continues its research

Nagra has been conducting research since 1972. To keep on learning, this research will continue until repository closure. Following our siting proposal, we will prepare the general licence applications and supporting technical documents and expect to submit these in 2024.

Joining forces to dispose of radioactive waste: Nagra researches in collaboration with scientists from all over the world.

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Next steps
International collaboration

We offer our know-how to interested parties around the world. Our team is continuously broadening its know-how – thanks, in part, to the growing number of scientific staff and the expansion of our pool of experts.

Nagra provides a wide range of services through its “International Services and Projects” Division.

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Visit Nagra

What exactly do we do? We would be pleased to show you!

Nagra operates the Grimsel Test Site, where over 20 organisations from 12 countries conduct experiments. We also carry out research at the Mont Terri Rock Laboratory, which is operated by swisstopo, the Swiss Federal Office of Topography. We would also be pleased to bring our workshop into your classroom or to provide support for school assignments.

Our offers are free – come and visit us!

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Engage in dialogue with us

Contact us

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