The Mizunami Underground Research Laboratory (MIU) will be constructed by the Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute (JNC) in central Japan. The project is planned in three overlapping phases consisting of I) Surface-based Investigation II) Construction and III) Operations Phases. This paper addresses the methods used to investigate the geological environment, the integration of the site knowledge into conceptual models and the application of the knowledge in designing the facility; some aspects of the future experimental programme are discussed.

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