Stage 2: Selection of a minimum of two sites for L+ILW and two sites for HLW
Investigation of geological siting areas and specification for repositories
Communes in the siting areas assume responsibility for organising and carrying out regional participation at the latest during Stage 2. During the regional participation process, the communes represent regional interests and work in cooperation with federal authorities and waste producers.
Specification for the repositories
Working with the siting regions and taking account of engineering feasibility, the waste producers develop proposals for the design and layout of the required surface facilities and configure the repository’s underground elements.
The siting regions discuss the proposals and provide feedback on the design, location and accessibility of surface infrastructure. Based on their cooperation with the siting regions, the waste producers designate at least one location for each planning perimeter.
Provisional safety analyses
In cooperation with the siting regions, the waste producers complete a provisional safety analysis for each of the sites (Appendix III (Conceptual Part – Sectoral Plan)). This is an analysis of the long-term safety of the repository after it has been sealed and reflects the type of stored waste. It indicates the capacity of the deep geological repository to retain the radionuclides in the repository and identifies the role in long-term safety played by the geological barrier. To produce a safety analysis, a certain level of information is required for each site and additional investigations may be required at this stage to supplement existing data. If investigations are necessary, the waste producers must discuss these with ENSI (successor body to HSK) at an early stage. The geological data used must adequately reflect the current situation at the site and reflect existing uncertainties.
Spatial planning and environmental aspects
On the basis of the planning perimeters identified in Stage 1, the waste producers develop the basic data needed for an evaluation of spatial planning issues at the selected sites. The spatial planning evaluation itself is conducted by the FOSD in cooperation with the siting cantons. The first part of this evaluation is to produce a land-use planning register split by themes in order to document issues relating to spatial planning. The aim is to facilitate as comprehensive an evaluation as possible and so allow the identification of possible conflicts in terms of spatial requirements, land use, development of centres of population and the use of resources together with a coordination of existing sectoral plans, cantonal structure plans and land-use plans. The methodology used for this evaluation is that specified in Stage 1.
A Stage 1 Environmental Impact Assessment is required as part of Stage 3. However, during Stage 2 the waste producers conduct preliminary investigations in accordance with Article 8 of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Ordinance in order to determine the potential impact on the environment of a deep geological repository at each of the proposed sites. Waste producers then prepare a technical specification.
Baseline socio-economic studies
In order to identify and estimate the potential socio-economic impact, siting regions either prepare a strategy, including the actions required for the sustainable development of the region or update existing plans as appropriate. This strategy considers the impact of any project to develop, implement and seal a deep geological repository in a particular siting region. The regional development strategy is based on socio-economic studies commissioned and conducted by the SFOE in cooperation with the siting regions.