The first photos of a full-size model of the Swiss site for safe disposal of radioactive waste have been made public. This is just one of the projects under research at the Grimsel Test Site, located in Alps.
The system for disposal of nuclear waste, presented on July 2, includes safety barriers and the transport of radioactive substances in the safety barrier system and the geosphere.
The main goal of the project, which is being carried out by Nagra, the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste, is potential construction of safe geological repositories for radioactive waste arising in Switzerland, from the use of nuclear energy to medicine and industry.
The Grimsel Test Site (GTS), a center for underground research and development, sits at an altitude of 1,730 meters, yet still at a depth of 450 meters beneath the surface. Despite hosting the nuclear waste disposal site project, GTS has made it clear that the center itself will never be a repository site for nuclear waste.
The GTS tunnel system is around one kilometer long. It was excavated in 1983 and is now being actively developed by international scientists. A wide range of research projects on the geological disposal of radioactive waste is being carried out there.
Up until 2006, much of Switzerland's used nuclear fuel was sent overseas for reprocessing. High-level waste and spent fuel from 2006 onwards is mostly stored at a central interim storage unit at Wurenlingen.
The Swiss Nagra company has been conducting researches on the development of suitable underground facilities for the storage of gaseous and liquid hydrocarbons and radioactive waste since 1972.
In 2012 it announced its proposals for six potential sites to locate a geological repository.
By the end of the year, after all six sites are tested, only two will be chosen.