Since the extension of RWTDF facility to provide additional capacity to meet the waste disposal requirement of the nuclear power plant is not feasible, an Interdepartmental Project (later called as National Project) was launched to resolve the problems of disposing LILW of nuclear power plant origin. The preparation for the siting work was commenced in the framework of this project.
The entire area of the country was surveyed with the use of literature data as basis and, in promising regions where it was also accepted by the population, preliminary site investigation work was carried out to identify geological structures that can potentially be acceptable for the construction of a surface or subsurface disposal facility.
In 1996, recommendations were formulated in the final geological, technical, safety, and economical assessment reports for additional investigation work in the region of Üveghuta, to check the acceptability of the subsurface granite formation for the construction of an underground repository, while keeping the sites, looking suitable for the construction of surface repository, in reserve. This area was considered favourable from the point of view that it was on the same side of the Danube, not far from Paks Nuclear Power Plant. Thus, it was decided, upon the agreement of OAB, to start more detailed investigations in 1997 in Üveghuta region.
In late 1998, a proposal was made by the Hungarian State Geological Institute (MÁFI) in its final report on the geological work carried out in 1997 and 1998, to start the detailed geological and site characterisation work on the Üveghuta investigation site for the substantiation of the licensing and the construction. The professionals in charge of controlling the program recommended the acceptance of this final investigation report. Therefore, upon the initiation of OAH, professionals from the International Atomic Energy Agency reviewed the work carried out in the framework of the program and, upon accepting the obtained results, proposed to proceed with the investigation work.
The investigation work performed was also reviewed, commented, and approved again by the Hungarian Geological Service. It was demonstrated by the safety assessments carried out on the basis of the research results that the repository could safely be operated on the selected site.
Based on the above, a four-year long investigation program was signed in May 2001 by the Minister having authority over the Fund. The contracts for the investigation work were prepared within public procurement procedure. In December 2001, a new company, Bátatom Kft has been established, with the joint forces of the most illustrious Hungarian institutes (ETV-Erőterv Rt., Mecsekérc Környezetvédelmi Rt., Golder Associates Hungary Kft.) and with the support of MÁFI as a subcontractor, for the implementation of the investigation program. The geological investigation plan was developed by Bátatom Kft in 2002, parallel to the preparatory work required for the exploration.
A final report was prepared at the end of 2003 on the geological investigations performed as specified in the approved investigation plan, which included the following principal conclusion: „ Bátaapáti (Üveghuta) site complies with all requirements specified in the Degree, thus it is geologically appropriate for the disposal of LILW.” This document was reviewed, commented and, in form of a decision, approved by the competent geological authority, the South-Transdanubian Office of the Hungarian Geological Service. Since no appeal was lodged against the decision within the appeal period, the document has become final at the end of 2003.
An underground investigation plan up to 2007 was elaborated in 2004, and was reviewed and subsequently approved by the South-Transdanubian Office of the Hungarian Geological Service. The investigation work formulated in the plan was intended to identify the rock volume intended to accommodate the repository. The investigation program was approved by the Minister exercising authority over the Fund on 14 December 2004. The contractor selected for the implementation of the program as a result of a Public Procurement tender, was Mecsekérc Zrt.
The underground operations commenced in February 2005 with the sinking of the incline-shafts. Two other significant events occurred in 2005. A public opinion referendum was held in the community upon the initiation of the city council of Bátaapáti. 90.7% of the voters representing a high voting ratio (75%) agreed with the intent of constructing a LILW repository in Bátaapáti. On 21 November 2005, the Hungarian Parliament granted its preliminary approval, in accordance with § 7 par. 2 of the Act on Atomic Energy, to the start of operations intended to prepare for the construction of a LILW repository on the site, which was qualified before as geologically appropriate for the construction of such facility. This Parliament Decision was supported by the overwhelming majority (339 MPs , 96,6%) of the representatives being present.
An important event of 2006 was the acceleration of the licensing procedures for the Bátaapáti project. Upon its power delegated to it by the Act no LIII of 2006, the Government, in its Governmental Degree no 275/2006 (XII.15.) declared the waste repository, to be constructed in Bátaapáti, to be a priority investment project being subject to the Act above.