«The crowning stage promises to be exciting»

Nagra’s annual general meeting took place in Bern today. The highlight of the year 2018 was the conclusion of Stage 2 of the Sectoral Plan for Deep Geological Repositories.

“Stage 2 was defined not just by fine technical work but also by constructive collaboration with the authorities, siting regions and siting Cantons”, says Nagra’s President of the Board of Directors, Corina Eichenberger, at the annual general meeting in Bern with a look back at the year 2018. The successful conclusion of Stage 2 does not mean, however, that it is already time to sit back and relax. “The third and final stage will take as long as both of the first two together and is thus the actual crowning stage.”

Work on this final stage has already begun: The deep borehole campaign has started, and drilling in Bülach began in April. This summer, drilling will begin in Trüllikon.

“The last few months have shown that the drill sites do not just deliver scientific insights but are also ideal platforms for conducting dialogue and providing information. There is extensive public interest in guided tours of the drill sites”, Eichenberger notes.

Aside from drilling the deep boreholes, the final stage includes the task of further developing the repository surface infrastructure, as Eichenberger states, broaching a further ongoing challenge. Nagra’s proposals are currently being discussed and evaluated in the three potential siting regions.

“At the end of Stage 3, the fundamental political decision on the disposal site in Switzerland will be made. The signs are auspicious. We have three promising siting regions to choose from”, says Eichenberger, looking ahead. “In about three years, we will know which region is the most suitable – getting to that point will be both challenging and exciting.”

The representatives of the Nagra Cooperative discharged the Board of Directors. Stephan Döhler from the Leibstadt nuclear power plant submitted his resignation and Roland Grüter from Axpo was elected as his successor.

Further information: Patrick Studer, Head Media Service: tel. 076 579 36 50 or 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, 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.