Äspö HRL is a unique research facility and there are only a few like it in the world. Almost 500 metres underground, SKB conduct experiments in collaboration with Swedish and international experts. The facility includes also the Äspö Village at surface with office spaces, different laboratories, a Multi-purpose test facility, etc.
Äspö HRL enables us to study the interaction of bentonite clay and copper canisters with the rock in realistic conditions. Here experiments are made to identify the role of the rock as a barrier. This can, for instance, concern how the rock slows down the movement of radioactive substances or how microbes affect conditions at this depth. It is possible for other organisations to carry out their own research and experiments at the Äspö HRL. This can be organised through SKB International.
The Äspö facility comprises the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory and above ground facilites such as offices, chemistry laboratory and the multi purpose test facility, the later taken into operation in 2007. The multi purpose test facility complements the underground Hard Rock Laboratory and enables full-scale experiments under controlled conditions making it possible to vary experimental conditions and to simulate different environments.