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In the long term humans and the environment have to be protected by passive barriers, that is barriers that are effective without human intervention. Deep geological repositories are filled up gradually until the contents become safe and stable. During this time period it is still possible to recover the waste easily. Even after the deep geological repository has been sealed, it will still be possible to recover the radioactive waste, however the costs in terms of finance and technology would be very high.
A plan showing how radioactive waste could be recovered if necessary will be submitted by the operators of the repository during the licensing procedure for the deep geological repository.

Costs of between 1.66 billion and 2.88 billion Swiss francs will be incurred respectively to construct and store low and intermediate level waste and high-level waste in appropriate deep geological repositories. The financial cost of recovering waste in its entirety from a sealed deep geological repository is estimated to be roughly the same.

Related documents

Disposal programme
ENSI-G03, Auslegungsgrundsätze für geologische Tiefenlager und Anforderungen an den Sicherheitsnachweis, April 2009

Further information

Waste disposal programme
Contact: Seraina Branschi
Last update: 30.11.2011

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