Waste disposal principles

(Video in German only)

Switzerland has been utilising nuclear energy for electricity production for more than 50 years. This form of electricity generation produces radioactive waste that must be safely disposed of. Deep geological repositories are currently being planned for this purpose and are expected to be built in the coming decades. Important instruments in this process are the demonstration of feasibility of disposal, the waste disposal programme and the Sectoral Plan for Deep Geological Repositories. 

Demonstration of feasibility of disposal of radioactive waste

The demonstration of feasibility of disposal establishes that the disposal of radioactive waste is possible in principle. This document is neither a licence nor a choice of site. It merely indicates that a sufficiently large and suitable rock formation exists in which a deep geological repository could be built. Further exploration work is required in the course of the process of identifying a suitable site. A demonstration of feasibility of disposal is required for both the high-level and the low and intermediate-level categories of radioactive waste.

Disposal programme

The disposal programme includes estimates of the quantity and type of radioactive waste. It is calculated on the basis of various different scenarios because the actual service life of the existing nuclear power plants is not yet known. The disposal programme is updated every five years; the last update was in 2021. This will be subject to regulatory review by 2023.

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.

Specialist staff
Last modification 04.11.2020

Top of page