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Site investigation and assessment

The selection of a suitable site is essential for the safe operation of an underground repository and the safe long-term isolation of waste after repository closure. Essential criteria for site suitability are the barrier properties of the rock formation, the hydrogeological conditions, and the predicted site development. Our repository siting know-how is concentrated within a multi-disciplinary team including geologists, hydro-geologists, geophysicists, geochemists, mining and civil engineers. This highly qualified team is experienced in solving the most complex problems.

Our range of expertise in this field includes:

  • concepts and strategies for site exploration
  • characterisation of the host rock and overburden by means of geological and hydrogeological mapping, geophysical measurements, drilling, and investigations in underground laboratories
  • drilling works and analyses in underground research laboratories
  • modelling of rock structures and hydrogeology
  • safety-related site assessments and geoscientific long-term forecasts
  • environmental impact assessments


  • Establishment of the basis for representative preliminary safety analyses and for the safety-oriented assessment of regions with geological conditions particularly favourable for the safe disposal of heat-generating radioactive waste (RESUS)
  • Requirements for site investigations for a HLW repository in hard rock (R&D project ASTER)
  • Investigation of the suitability of the Shezkagan copper mine region (Kazakhstan) as a repository site for low- and intermediate-level waste
  • Design and assessment of the geotechnical and geophysical measurement technology for a heater test at the WIPP site, USA (SDDI-Project)
  • Consultancy for site selection procedure for a HLW repository in claystone in China