Experts are convinced that the planned site for the Swiss nuclear waste repository has the best geological conditions. The Nördlich Lägern region, not far from the Hohentengen border in Baden-Württemberg, is clearly the safest choice among the three most recently examined possible locations, said Matthias Braun, head of the National Cooperative for the Storage of Radioactive Waste (Nagra), on Monday in Bern.
The necessary rock layer of Opalinuston is there deepest under the earth's surface, the layer is thickest and the possible area for the planned repository is largest, said Braun. "It's a clear decision. The geology has spoken.” When drilling in Nördlich Lägern, traces of water that were older than anywhere else were found in the layer of Opalinus Clay: the water is said to be 175 million years old.
“Time practically stands still here,” said Braun. This shows how well the rock absorbs moisture. In addition, the rock binds radioactive material and can repair cracks itself. The Opalinus Clay in Nördlich Lägern is 100 meters thick.
The packaging system is to be built at the current interim storage facility in Würenlingen, because there are already buildings there that can be used, said Braun.
The radioactive waste from nuclear power plants, industry and research is to be buried hundreds of meters deep in the repository. The construction of the warehouse still has to go through the approval process and is not expected to begin before 2031, with storage in 2050.