The Grimsel Test Site - Introduction

The Grimsel Test Site - International Underground Research Laboratory.

Grimsel Partners from around the world

The Grimsel Test Site (GTS) located in the Swiss Alps was established in 1984 as a centre for underground Research and Development (R&D) supporting a wide range of research projects on the geological disposal of radioactive waste.

The GTS provides an environment which is analogous to that of a repository site so allowing the development and testing of equipment, methodology and models under fully realistic conditions. International partners from Europe, Asia and North America are working together at this unique facility.

Location of the Grimsel Test Site in Switzerland
View over the Hotel Grimsel Hospiz. The Grimsel Test Site (GTS) is located at an altitude of 1730 metres within the granitic rock of the Aar Massif in central Switzerland.

Its all very well to design a waste disposal system - but how do you know that it will work ?

This is where the Grimsel Test Site (GTS) comes in - with experiments to test the long term behaviour of the engineered barriers, to develop and test tools to confirm the suitability of potential geological host rocks and to test the models used to predict its performance as a long-term barrier to radionuclide release.

Many countries have plans for repositories but in order to ensure that their designs will work, they need somewhere to test out their concepts for safe waste disposal.

These tests should be carried out in similar conditions to a repository. The GTS is a research facility several hundred metres underground which provides a relevant environment for equipment, methodology and model tests.

GMT Silo
Febex bentonite backfill


Grimsel's Role in Underground Research & Development

The GTS is a research facility and not a potential repository site; although investigations may utilise a wide range of radioactive tracers, no radioactive waste will be disposed of at the GTS.

The GTS underground facilities are also available to interested 3rd parties for underground testing and research. The GTS offers cost-effective access to a fully developed, well characterised underground research facility with round the year logistical support - please contact Dr. Ingo Blechschmidt, Head of the Grimsel Test Site, for further details.
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