“Nagra achieved a great deal in 2019”

Nagra’s annual general meeting took place today, and Corina Eichenberger, President of the Board of Directors, expressed her satisfaction with the fiscal year 2019. Over the last few months, the deep borehole campaign was able to progress without delay despite the corona crisis.

“In April 2019, we started drilling the first borehole in Bülach and completed it in November. In August, we began drilling in Trüllikon”, Corina Eichenberger, Nagra’s President of the Board of Directors, recalled at the annual general meeting. Preparations were also made for the next boreholes. “In addition, we completed and presented our proposals for the surface infrastructure of a deep geological repository”, said Eichenberger.

Eichenberger was particularly pleased that the progress of the deep borehole campaign was not slowed down by legal disputes. “This indicates a broad acceptance of our scientific investigations”, she stated. The deep boreholes did not merely meet with acceptance but also with great public interest. Over 2000 people visited the drill sites in 2019 to take a look over Nagra’s shoulder. Eichenberger drew a positive conclusion: “We achieved a great deal in 2019”.

The last months have been challenging due to the corona crisis: “However, the drilling work always continued at full capacity even though we had to take additional measures.” At present, Nagra is close to completing the Marthalen borehole; drilling started at Bözberg-1 at the end of April and will continue until this autumn. The purpose of the boreholes is to complete the overall geological picture of the three potential siting regions Jura Ost, Nördlich Lägern and Zürich Nordost. The resulting scientific basis will underpin the selection of the safest site for a repository.

The President of the Board of Directors optimistically announced “that we will continue to make good progress in the final stage of the Sectoral Plan for Deep Geological Repositories and master the remaining tasks together”.

The representatives of the Nagra Cooperative discharged the Board of Directors.

Further information: Patrick Studer, Head of Media Office: 076 579 36 50, medien@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, 130 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.