Further deep borehole in the community of Bözberg

Nagra will commence drilling in the Jura Ost siting region from 2020. The second borehole in the siting region will also be drilled in the community of Bözberg, as was the case for the first one.

The National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra) will also drill the second borehole in the Jura Ost siting region in the community of Bözberg. The “Bözberg 2” drill site is located to the east of the village of Kästhal in the north-west of the community territory. Construction will begin as soon as weather conditions permit, which might still be this year but might also have to wait until early 2020. At the earliest, drilling operations will begin in the summer of 2020. “Bözberg 1” is expected to become operational in the coming spring.

The boreholes will complete the overall geological picture of the potential siting regions. The resulting scientific basis will underpin the selection of the safest site for a repository. The boreholes investigate the thickness, tightness and composition of the Opalinus Clay host rock in which the repository will be constructed. The Federal Government has the lead in the site selection process, which is regulated by the “Sectoral Plan for Deep Geological Repositories”.

Nagra has submitted a total of 23 permit applications for deep boreholes and, to date, 11 legally valid permits have been granted. How many boreholes will actually have to be drilled in order to complete the overall geological picture depends on the results of ongoing work, but it is not planned to drill all 23 boreholes. Nagra has set up a hotline for questions and concerns of local residents and other interested persons. It is free and operates 24/7 (0800 437 333). The drill sites also have a visitors’ pavilion and regular open days for the public.

More information: Patrick Studer, Head, Media Office: 076 579 36 50. patrick.studer@nagra.ch

According to Swiss nuclear energy legislation, the producers of radioactive waste are responsible for its safe management and disposal. In 1972, the Federal Government and the nuclear power plant operators set up the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra) to perform this task. Nagra, which has its headquarters in Wettingen (AG), is the national technical competence centre in the field of deep geological disposal of radioactive waste.

Out of a strong sense of responsibility for the long-term protection of man and the environment, 120 employees are involved daily in performing this important work. The high level of competence is secured by targeted research programmes in two Swiss underground rock laboratories and intensive international collaboration.