A quarter of a century of underground experiments at Mont Terri

A quarter of a century of underground experiments at Mont Terri

Celebrated 25 years of CO2 and nuclear research, at the service of society, in the Jura laboratory under the Saint-Ursanne mountains

Gallery of international experiments of the Mont-Terri Project
Gallery of international experiments of the Mont-Terri Project

Il underground laboratory of the Mont Terri a Saint Ursanne search on clay rocks twigs 1996. The experiments concern the storage both of radioactive waste both of CO2 in deep geological strata.
Il November 4, 2021, was therefore celebrated in Canton of Jura the anniversary of this activity in the presence of the Federal Councilor Viola Amherd and laboratory partners.
THEFederal Office of Topography swisstopo coordinates the scientific program, manages the laboratory and guarantees the site security. Research activities are attended by no less than 22 national and international partners.


The site is owned by Swiss Confederation and Canton of Jura. The underground laboratory has exclusively one research purposes and no future on-site storage of radioactive waste or carbon dioxide is planned.
They attended the celebrations laboratory partner, personality of the scientific and political world and representatives of authority.
In her speech the Federal Councilor Viola Amherd, head of the VBS, he praised the importance of the laboratory for research and especially analyzes for it CO2 storage.
The Federal Councilor underlined that it is one of the numerous measures to counter the climate change and an important stage in achieving the goal of net “zero emissions”..

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The Mont Terri underground laboratory, in the Swiss canton of Jura, carries out research on clay rocks for the storage of CO2 and radioactive waste
The Mont Terri underground laboratory, in the Swiss canton of Jura, carries out research on clay rocks for the storage of CO2 and radioactive waste

In 1996 the opening of the toilet in the layers of opaline clay

The laboratory is located at depth of 300 meters, in the vicinity of the escape route of the A16 motorway tunnel, under Mont Terri. The first scientific experiments on clays opals date back to 1996.
Their success has contributed to the gradual development of the laboratory, which today extends over approx 1,2 km of tunnels dedicated exclusively to research.
In total, so far they have been conducted over 150 experiments. It examines the hydrogeological, geochemical and geotechnical characteristics of the opal clays in anticipation of the future storage of radioactive waste in deep geological strata (70 percent of ongoing experiments), but also for other applicationsi, such as the storage of CO2 emissions.
Often it is about long-term experiments, of which approx a third always ongoing.

Always new international partners, from Canada to Japan…

In its 25 years of existence, the underground laboratory has been able to establish itself on the international scientific scene, regularly attracting the participation of new partners in the Mont Terri Consortium.
The last ones in order of time were, in the 2019,German Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BASE) and, in 2020,German Federal Agency for the storage of radioactive waste (BGE).

The Mont Terri underground laboratory, in the Swiss canton of Jura, carries out research on clay rocks for the storage of CO2 and radioactive waste
The Mont Terri underground laboratory, in the Swiss canton of Jura, carries out research on clay rocks for the storage of CO2 and radioactive waste

22 "allies" for the Mont Terri Consortium on CO2 and nuclear energy

The laboratory of the Mont Terri Consortium celebrates the fourth century of life with twenty two partners, institutional and private, coming from Worldwide, not only Swiss: from Belgium to Japan, from Canada to Spain, from Germany to the United States of America.

Federal Office of Topography, swisstopo (Switzerland)
Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate, ENSI (Switzerland)
National Cooperative Society for the Storage of Radioactive Waste, NAGRA (Switzerland)
Federal Polytechnic of Zurich, ETH (Switzerland)
Center d'Étude de l'Énergie Nucléaire, SCK•CEN (Belgium)
Federal Nuclear Control Agency, AFCN (Belgium)
Agence Nationale pour la Gestion des Déchets Radioactifs, ANDRA (France)
Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety, IRSN (France)
TOTALenergies SA (France)
Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, BGR (Germany)
Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit, GRS (Germany)
Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren eV, Helmholtz (Germany)
Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management, BASE (Germany)
Federal Society for Final Disposal, BGE (Germany)
Obayashi Corporation (Japan)
Japan Atomic Energy Agency, JAEA (Japan)
Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, CRIEPI (Japan)
National Radioactive Waste Company, ENRESA (Spain)
Radioactive Waste Management, RWM (UK)
Nuclear Waste Management Organization, NWMO (Canada)
Chevron Energy Technology Corporation (USA) Drilling and Completions Technology Department (USA)
US Department of Energy, US DOE (United States)

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The Mont Terri underground laboratory, in the Swiss canton of Jura, carries out research on clay rocks for the storage of CO2 and radioactive waste
The Mont Terri underground laboratory, in the Swiss canton of Jura, carries out research on clay rocks for the storage of CO2 and radioactive waste