The Grimsel Test Site owned and operated by Nagra is located in the Swiss Alps ( The sixth Phase of investigations was started in 2003 with a ten-year planning horizon. With the investigations and projects of Phase VI the focus is shifted more towards projects assessing perturbation effects of repository implementation and projects evaluating and demonstrating engineering and operational aspects of the repository system. More than 17 international partners participate in the various projects, which form the basic organisational ‘elements’ of Phase VI, each one further structured in field-testing, laboratory studies, design and modelling tasks, as appropriate. Each project phase is planned with a duration of 3 to 5 years, to facilitate all practical and administrative aspects, ensuring flexibility for updating the overall plan with the recent findings. Scientific and engineering interaction among the different projects is ensured via the annual international meeting and ad-hoc meetings, as appropriate. As Phase VI approaches its mid-term point, a review of the accomplishments to date is performed to provide a sound basis for the detailed planning of the next steps. The accomplishments to date are described and assessed below; the opportunities with the on-going projects as well as new projects – currently under discussion – are also presented and discussed. The on-going projects include: studies of the long-term diffusion with emphasis on the processes in the rock matrix (LTD); colloid studies under in-situ generation conditions and migration velocities closer to velocities expected in an actual repository site (CFM); studies of the long-term cement interactions with natural systems (LCS); evaluation of full-scale engineered systems under simulated heat production and long-term natural saturation (NF-Pro/FEBEX); gas migration through engineered barrier systems (GMT); emplacement of shotcrete low-pH plug (ESDRED/Module IV); test and evaluation of monitoring systems (TEM). In addition, various shorter term projects assessing, for example, new geophysical investigation tools, wireless transmission, testing new tools and training for in-situ tracer transport studies have been performed and/or are planned for the near future.

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