Geological investigations aim to further our knowledge of the substructure in potential locations for a deep geological repository. The Nuclear Energy Act (NEA) states that a licence is required from the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications DETEC to carry out such investigations. However, some geological investigations, such as geological studies on the surface and measurements of ground gases, are exempt from the licensing requirement under the NEA.
Under the NEA, exploratory boreholes is subject to the licensing requirement. Such boreholes provide more accurate information on the rock strata in the area of the potential repository, so that a profile of the geological situation can be drawn up with regard to all types of repository possible at the location (L/ILW, HLW and combined repositories). Quaternary boreholes are also subject to licence. These bore down to a lesser depth than exploratory boreholes and are used to obtain field data on matters relating to long-term geological evolution.
The SFOE is responsible for the licensing procedure in conjunction with the federal agencies and cantons concerned. A licensing procedure is conducted for each bore site. The application to bore is published at the beginning of each procedure and can be downloaded from this website. Persons affected by boreholes may appeal to the SFOE against the planned measures.