Dr. Ingo Blechschmidt, Head of Grimsel Test Site:

Opening of the Exhibition „Underground Research - World Wide“

As already highlighted by the previous speakers, international cooperation is one of the major factors ensuring the ongoing success of the work at the Grimsel Test Site and at other underground research facilities. Not just by sharing resources but also by sharing expert knowledge while working together allows the development of outstanding projects and experiments which often run for many years.

Moreover, having a number of underground research laboratories operating around the globe helps to develop, test and demonstrate disposal concepts for radioactive waste under a variety of realistic boundary conditions in different geological environments. The contribution of the URLs and the focus of the activities depend on the stage of the national programmes, so each URL programme has its own special characteristics.

The exhibition to be opened today is dedicated to providing a snapshot of the operating underground research facilities located around the world - sometimes at places where you may not expect to find such facilities. Of course this exhibition will not be able to cover all the characteristics of the various facilities, but we believe that, as a whole, it will provide an impressive insight into the activities carried out in URLs and show how much effort is invested in solving our ambitious goal of developing and implementing safe disposal concepts for radioactive waste. We hope that making the exhibition accessible to our visitors here underground will also generate intensive discussions and provide a wider picture of our work. In this context - to indulge in a little bit of advertising - the exhibition will be presented for the first time to the general public during the “Visitors Day” at the GTS which is organised for the 28th of June this year.

Before we invite you to take a look at the exhibition with the title „Underground Research - World Wide“, I would like to thank all people who contributed and helped to realise this exhibition. In particular, I would like to thank our partner organisations ANDRA, JAEA, KAERI, SKB, Posiva Oy and Swisstopo, who all provided their material on time, Comet Photoshopping GmbH for final preparation of the material and for professional advice and, last but not least, our Nagra colleagues from the “Eventgruppe 30 Jahre FLG” who developed the concept and brought everything together. So, let’s go and take a look!

Dr. Ingo Blechschmidt, Head of Grimsel Test Site

Dr. Ingo Blechschmidt, Head of Grimsel Test Site, introduces the Underground Research - World Wide exhibition