The stepwise site selection process in Switzerland is governed by the Sectoral Plan. It is divided in three stages, narrowing down the number of potential siting regions (Stage 1) to at least two sites for each of the two geological repositories, the low and intermediate-level waste site (LLW) and the high-level waste site (HLW), in Stage 2, leading to the final selection of a site for each repository (Stage 3) for the application of a general license. In October 2008, Nagra proposed a total of 6 siting regions for the LLW repository and three for the HLW repository; the latter would also be suitable for shared use with the surface facilities and part of the access tunnels for the two types of repositories. The review of Nagra’s proposals by the safety authority (ENSI — the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate) and its supporting commission was completed in February 2010. ENSI found Nagra’s analysis justified comprehensive and transparent and approved the six proposed regions. A similar overall conclusion was reached by KNS, the Swiss Commission for Nuclear Safety. The decision-making process continues in 2010 with an evaluation of the review and recommendations of ENSI by the various agencies at the governmental, cantonal and local level, an open public consultation and finally, a resolution of the comments received by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE). Stage 1 will be concluded in 2011 with the decision by the Swiss Federal Government. Stage 2 foresees a provisional safety analysis for each potential site as an additional criterion to be used in the narrowing down to two sites for each type of waste repository. The guidelines for this have been recently published by ENSI. The main findings of the review by the authorities, the next steps and preparatory activities for the initiation of Stage 2, as well as how the criteria and guidelines specified by ENSI will be applied by Nagra in order to meet the requirements for a successful completion of Stage 2 are described below.

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