The first photos of full-size model of the Swiss site for safe disposal of radioactive waste have been made public. The Grimsel Test Site sits at an altitude of 1,730 meters, yet still at a depth of 450 meters beneath the surface.
The main goal of the potential construction is safe geological repositories for all radioactive waste arising in Switzerland from the use of nuclear energy and from medicine and industry.
The GTS tunnel system is around one kilometer long. It was excavated in 1983 and is now being actively developed by international scientists.
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.
In 2012, the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra), which has been operating an underground research laboratory for a high-level waste repository at Grimsel for almost 30 years, announced its proposals for potential sites for the facility.
Up until 2006, much of Switzerland’s used nuclear fuel was sent overseas for reprocessing. High-level waste and used fuel from 2006 onwards is mostly stored at a central interim storage unit at Wurenlingen.
However, despite enthusiastic reviews of the project, experts say that repositories for radioactive waste will benefit mainly for construction industry, while agriculture and tourism in the potential siting regions will face losses.
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