Nagra's decision to build a deep geological repository in the Nördlich Lägern region will place a heavy burden on the canton of Zurich and the local population. The GREENS have the highest expectations.
And that is to the safety of people and nature and make clear demands on the further planning process: nuclear phase-out, explicit termination criteria, external scientific review and permanent retrievability are the conditions.
For the Greens of the Canton of Zurich, one thing is clear: Switzerland must take responsibility for its own nuclear waste – for waste that the GREENS never wanted to. The Nuclear Energy Act stipulates that highly radioactive waste must be stored domestically, and this is correct. The Greens of the Canton of Zurich therefore take note of Nagra's proposal for a deep geological repository in the region of Nördlich Lägern.
No deep repository in operation worldwide
What is needed now is the continuous and critical observation of the further process. The Greens of the Canton of Zurich will be able to draw on their decades of experience and expertise in nuclear policy. We place the highest demands on the safety and technical feasibility of the deep repository, and we place the highest demands on the protection of the population and the environment from the massive emissions of surface operations. We stand in solidarity with the people in the directly affected Zurich communities of Stadel, Weiach, Zweidlen and Glattfelden. Worldwide, even after more than 50 years of nuclear power, there is still no deep geological repository in operation.
Highly dangerous mortgage
Nagra's current site proposal does not imply that the repository can actually be built. The decision must not lead to the premature assumption that radioactive waste will no longer be a problem. It remains a highly dangerous mortgage for countless generations to come.
Clear GREEN conditions to the further process Against this background, the GREENS of Canton Zurich set clear conditions to the further planning process:
- A binding nuclear phase-out plan is needed. Swiss nuclear power plants leave behind 60 tons of nuclear waste per year. You can't project a deep repository if you don't know how big the waste pile will be in the end.
- The planning process for the deep repository must include explicitly formulated demolition scenarios in case the Nördlich Lägern site does not turn out to be the best solution or the repository is not technically feasible.
- The canton of Zurich, as a siting canton, must form its own expert committee to independently review Nagra's research reports and the technical feasibility of the repository (reinforcement of AG SiKA/KES).
- The permanent retrievability of the radioactive waste must always be planned, it must always be possible even after the closure of the repository.
- The population and the environment in the affected region must be protected from harmful emissions from surface operations. Other loads such as the hot cell to repackage the radioactive material must be placed in another region, as far as safety permits.
- If there is a loss of quality of life in the Northern Lägern region, the affected residents and communities must be compensated. Compensate for demonstrable losses in value.