Deep Geological Repositories Sectoral Plan

(Video in German only)

The search for suitable repository sites is regulated in the Deep Geological Repositories Sectoral Plan. The search is carried out in three stages in which the selection of geological site regions is gradually narrowed down. At the end of each stage, the Federal Council decides on the next steps in the process. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) bears the overall responsibility for the procedure, in which the protection of human beings and the environment is the top priority. The regional participation established within the sectoral plan enables the participation of the cantons, municipalities and neighbouring states at an early stage in the process.

Search for suitable sites for deep geological repositories
(sectoral plan and general licensing procedure)
Development of the concept of the Sectoral Plan for Deep Geological Repositories with broad participation December 2004
to April 2008
Stage 1 (proposal and official review of six potential geological siting areas, set-up of regional participation) April 2008
to December 2011
Stage 2 (location of surface facilities, involvement of regional conferences, narrowing down to at least two siting regions per waste category) December 2011
to November of 2018
Stage 3 (deep boreholes, preparation of application for general licence, designation of sites, issue of general licence) November of 2018
to end of 2029
Adoption by Parliament of the Federal Council's decision concerning the general licence, possibly followed by referendum Beginning of 2030
to end of 2031
Construction of deep geological repositories
(in accordance with 2016 Waste Management Programme)
Repository for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste Repository for high-level radioactive waste
Geological studies ("rock laboratory")
Construction permit for deep geological repository
2032 to 2044 2032 to 2048
Construction of deep geological repository, operating licence 2045 to 2049 2049 to 2059
Operation, storage operation 2050 to 2064 2060 to 2074
Monitoring period 2065 to 2114 2075 to 2124
Closure of complete repository 2115 to 2118
2125 to 2126
Long-term Monitoring from 2118 from 2126

Sectoral plan

With sectoral plans the federal government coordinates tasks of national importance in a single process. For this purpose it works together with the involved cantonal and municipal authorities and takes account of their respective interests.


Conceptual Part of the Sectoral Plan for Deep Geological Repositories (English version only 2008, actual version 2011 in German)

Brochures (in German)

Fact sheet on involved stakeholders

Fact sheet on compensation

Summary working groups


Wie fliessen neue Erkenntnisse ins Verfahren ein?

Bleibt trotz dem starren Zeitplan Raum für Anpassungen?

Welche Kriterien führen zu einem Standortentscheid und wie ist die Gewichtung?

Ist das bestehende Zwischenlager (Zwilag) in Würenlingen ausschlaggebend für den künftigen Standort (Jura Ost)?

Kann ein Kanton ein Lager ablehnen?

Für den Entsorgungsnachweis für hochaktive Abfälle wurde nur das Gebiet um Benken im Zürcher Weinland untersucht. Ist so eine vergleichende Bewertung der drei Standortgebiete überhaupt möglich?

Specialist staff
Last modification 05.11.2020

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