The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

68 percent of those affected accept deep geological repository in Stadel ZH

A Nagra survey has shown that a clear majority of residents accept the deep geological repository in Stadel ZH. In the affected siting region of Nördlich Lägern, 68 percent of respondents were in agreement with the repository.

Across Switzerland, the willingness to tolerate a storage facility at one's own place of residence is slightly lower: 66 percent would accept this, according to the survey presented on Tuesday by the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra).

60 percent of the 1006 people surveyed throughout Switzerland believe that the affected Nördlich Lägern region in the Zurich lowlands deserves Switzerland's solidarity, as Nagra announced on Tuesday.

71% also think that financial compensation for the region is fine as long as it is not "excessive". According to Nagra, this shows that the majority recognize the region's contribution to solving a national problem.

In the region itself, where an additional 800 people were surveyed, 17% feel that the authorities do not take them seriously enough. They are calling for more transparency and additional information. Nagra is therefore now opening an office in Stadel to improve communication with the population.

Respondents anticipate unrest

Residents of the region have concerns about the possible financial consequences. 53 percent fear that properties will lose value and the region will become less attractive for newcomers.

The survey also revealed that a large proportion expect social tensions (73% of respondents). Respondents could also imagine that protests or chaos could lead to unrest (68%). "People definitely see potential for conflict in the issue and perceive a certain amount of seething", according to the final report on the survey.

However, a majority from the region also agreed with the question of positive consequences, such as increased income for the municipalities and new jobs (84 and 79 percent).

Respondents were almost unanimous that Switzerland must dispose of the nuclear waste it produces here. Almost 90 percent agreed with this statement.

Confidence in technical solution

The survey also asked whether Switzerland would find a solution to the nuclear waste problem. 71 percent considered this to be technically feasible, 61 percent politically. Overall, younger respondents were less aware of the debate surrounding a deep geological repository.

The survey was conducted by the JRC Bern research institute. The Nördlich Lägern site was one of three possible locations for the deep geological repository. The decision in 2022 came as something of a surprise, as the Zürcher Weinland was long considered the safest place for nuclear waste.

©Keystone/SDA

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