The Mont Terri Rock Laboratory is located in St Ursanne, canton Jura.
A lot of cutting-edge technology is deployed - but also superstition: a statue of St Barbara, the patron saint of miners, looks down on the proceedings.
Researchers take a close look at an opaline layer, a key component of the Jura fold mountains.
Waving the flags of international cooperation.
A hermetically sealed laptop measures the most minute movements in the rock.
Fossils of the ammonite Leioceras opalinum are often found in the Opalinus Clay.
Core drilling is done to study the properties and density of the rock.
One experiment looks into the permeability of the rock along fracture lines.
Some experiments take years to complete.
In a seven-metre-deep shaft, scientists have been able to demonstrate that seawater stored in the rock can endure temperatures up to 100° Celsius (212° Fahrenheit).
Shotcrete - a form of concrete - is sprayed on the tunnel walls to add stability.
A safety passage from a motorway tunnel is located behind the fire door.
Three-hundred metres below ground, researchers from Switzerland, other European countries and Japan are studying the properties of Opalinus Clay, which could provide a way to dispose of nuclear waste. The results of the studies are exchanged among the partners of the Mont Terri Project, and are used in feasibility studies. (Pictures: Christoph Balsiger, swissinfo.ch, 2007)