Drilling of first deep borehole in Bözberg completed

Nagra has completed drilling the first of two boreholes in Bözberg. The second will be completed over the next two weeks. At present, no further boreholes are planned in the Jura Ost siting region.

After drilling for seven months, the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra) is dismantling the drilling rig at the Bözberg drill site next to Ursprung. The drilling rig advanced to a depth of 1037 metres while recovering rock samples. The second borehole in Bözberg in the Riedacker area is also expected to be completed this month. This will conclude the investigations in the Jura Ost siting region for the time being.

Nagra is satisfied with the results of the borehole investigations next to Ursprung in Bözberg. “Drilling was successful, and we were able to recover high-quality rock samples that are now being investigated in detail in several laboratories”, explains Philipp Senn, Nagra’s Deputy Head Collaboration Sectoral Plan and Public Outreach. The Opalinus Clay in which the deep geological repository will eventually be constructed is around 120 metres thick in Bözberg, very tight and quietly bedded. The underground in this siting region therefore also has the right properties for a potential repository.

Conducting dialogue with the local population is very important to Nagra. “For this reason, we are pleased that around 500 people visited our first drill site in Bözberg to learn more about out work”, Senn adds.

During the next few days, the drilling rig will be transported to Stadel (Hasliboden), where drilling will start before Christmas. The Bözberg drill site will be recultivated next year.
Since 2019, Nagra has been drilling deep boreholes to investigate the geological underground in the Jura Ost, Nördlich Lägern and Zürich Nordost siting regions. It has now been confirmed that it is possible to construct a safe deep geological repository in all three siting regions. Nagra expects to be able to announce in 2022 which region it considers most suitable for hosting a deep geological repository.

Further information: Patrick Studer, Head of Nagra’s Media Office: 076 579 36 50 medien@nagra.ch