Can the rock laboratory be converted to deep geological disposal?

No. That is not possible. The rock laboratory is used only for research purposes. There can be no question of the disposal of radioactive waste here. That is part of the contractual arrangement with the Canton of Jura.


What is researched in the rock laboratory?

Research is separated into individual experiments, differentiated according to the following types: Development of methodology, e.g. test performance and related analyses; Characterisation of Opalinus Clay, e.g. understanding the chemical and physical processes in the Opalinus Clay at the laboratory and investigating the relevant properties and Parameters; Demonstration experiments. Here, tests on a 1:1 scale can be carried out over a long period. Generally, the experiments in the rock laboratory provide a significant body of knowledge about the feasibility and safety of deep geological disposal.


Why clay for a deep geological disposal facility?

Argillaceous rocks are suitable as a geological barrier for the long-term encapsulation of radioactive waste. The three most important characteristics are: Retention of radionuclides at the clay mineral surfaces, very low permeability (no transfer of radionuclides by flowing water), and the ability to self-sealing of cracks and fissures by swelling.

Properties of Opalinus clay

Is it possible to visit the rock laboratory?

Yes! Guided tours of the Mont Terri rock laboratory are organised throughout the year for groups of visitors. More information is available here: Tel. +41 32 461 40 53 /

Welcome to the visitors center

The Mont Terri project


The Mont Terri Project is an international research project for the hydrogeological, geochemical and geotechnical characterisation of a clay formation (Opalinus Clay).

Mont Terri to be the site of the future swisstopo drill core storage facility

Work is in progress

The halls of the former lime kilns in St-Ursanne are to become a storage facility for drill core samples of national geological interest. This new core library will be operated by swisstopo, which is already present on the site as part of the Mont Terri Project. Renovation work is currently underway, and once this is completed a high-bay storage system on pallets will be installed. The stored geological cores will then be available for research.

Electric vehicles charging points

Borne électrique CCV
We now have two charging points for electric vehicles. They are located at the entrance to the Visitors' Centre on the train station side and are available to visitors on request.

Welcome to the Mont Terri underground rock laboratory

CL Experiment (CO2 Long-Term Periodic Injection): samples from the BCL-8 borehole

The visitor centre is open

The rock laboratory is open to groups of 10 or more by prior arrangement.

A brand new film for the Mont Terri Project 25th anniversary!

Master Thesis in Augmented Reality (AR) in the Mont Terri Rock Laboratory with swisstopoEDU

Dreidimensionale Ansicht des Felslabors
swisstopoEDU offers various opportunities to complete a Master thesis. One of them concerns augmented reality applications in the Mont Terri rock laboratory. Contact rock laboratory: Martin Ziegler or Romain Nicol on +41 32 461 40 54.

Interested? We look forward to receiving your application! All the info here.

1st Caprock Integrity & Gas Storage Symposium


The first CIGSS - Caprock Integrity & Gas Storage Symposium - was held on 24 & 25 January at the Mont Terri rock laboratory visitor centre. With around hundred participants and top-quality speakers, this first edition was a great success. Representatives from academia, government agencies and industry met to discuss the current state of knowledge on CO₂ storage and caprock in particular. This success underlines the growing and unique importance of the Mont Terri rock laboratory as an international platform for research and exchange on radioactive waste and CO₂.


Shell new partner of the Mont Terri Project

Shell Pecten - CMYK

We are pleased to announce that Shell will be our 23rd partner starting July 2023. Shell will join the Mont Terri Project and participate in the research on geological storage of CO2. The Mont Terri Project has been active for over 10 years in this field, particularly in the study of Opalinus clay as caprock. We welcome this new partner and look forward to our future collaboration.

Our partners: