Russian delegation shows interest in the Swiss site selection process for deep geological repositories

In mid-January, a delegation from the Nuclear Regulatory body of Russia and the Russian Scientific and Engineering Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Safety visited ENSI to learn more about the search for a site for deep geological repositories in Switzerland. In addition to the site selection process, the next step in Russia is the construction of an underground research laboratory in the Krasnoyarsk region.

The Russian government has approved the strategy for the construction of a radioactive waste disposal facility. In a next step, a geological research laboratory will be constructed in the Nischne-Kansk granitoid massif in the Krasnoyarsk region, about 4100 km east of Moscow.

Just like Switzerland, Russia faces the challenge of identifying a suitable site for a deep geological repository for the disposal of radioactive waste. Against this background, a delegation from Rostechnadzor, the Nuclear regulatory body of Russia, and SEC NRS, the Russian Scientific and Engineering Centre for Nuclear and Radiation Safety, visited Switzerland to find out more about the safety aspects of Switzerland’s ongoing Sectoral Plan for Deep Geological Repositories.

The Russian experts were particularly interested in the role of ENSI as the nuclear safety regulatory body in the site selection process and in Nagra’s work and research activities as an implementer (Swiss National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste) in preparing for a geological repository. Other key topics were the concept of safety assessment, the barrier principle and ENSI’s research strategy and research projects. The visit of the delegation was rounded off by a tour of the Mont Terri Rock Laboratory in St. Ursanne, which offered a practical insight into the various research projects.