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Reporting procedure

According to the Nuclear Safety Officer and Reporting Ordinance (Atomrechtliche Sicherheitsbeauftragen- und Meldeverordnung - AtSMV) the operators of nuclear installations must report reportable events occurring in the Federal Republic of Germany to the competent federal state authorities. The purpose of the regulatory reporting procedure is to both supervise the safety status of these installations and improve it in the framework of the supervisory procedure, using the knowledge gained from the events reported.

Reportable events meet the reporting criteria of Appendices 1 to 5 of the Nuclear Safety Officer and Reporting Ordinance. Based on an initial engineering assessment, reportable events having occurred are grouped in the different reporting categories and reporting criteria.

Reporting criteria

Reporting criteria

The reporting criteria for the different nuclear installations are regulated in the Nuclear Safety Officer and Reporting Ordinance as follows:

  • Appendix 1:
    Reporting criteria for events in nuclear power plants
  • Appendix 2:
    Reporting criteria for events in installations for nuclear fuel supply and waste management
  • Appendix 3:
    Reporting criteria for events in research reactors
  • Appendix 4:
    Reporting criteria for events in installations under decommissioning
  • Appendix 5:
    Reporting criteria for events in case of nuclear fuel storage

The reporting criteria are divided into three sections:

  • Radiology and radiation protection:

    Events where e.g. radioactive materials are released into the environment or where radioactive contamination inside the installation occurs.

  • Systems engineering and operation:

    Events where e.g. malfunctions, damage or failures of the safety system or damage or leaks in pipes or vessels occur.

  • External events and plant-internal events:

    These include events where e.g. damage is caused by an earthquake or a plant-internal fire.

Reporting categories

Reporting categories

While the reporting criteria specify the kind of events that are subject to reporting, the reporting categories describe how urgently the supervisory authority has to be informed and what safety-related significance the event has. In detail the categories can be described as follows:

Reporting categories
CategoryExplanation
SEvents that must be reported to the supervisory authority immediately, in order for the authority to be able to launch an investigation or to prompt measures in a very short space of time, if necessary. This also includes events that show acute safety deficiencies.
EEvents that have to be reported to the supervisory authority within 24 hours, in order for the authority to be able to launch an investigation or to prompt measures in a short space of time, if necessary. This also includes events whose cause can be clarified within a short space of time and which must be repaired in due time, if necessary. Generally these events are potentially – but not directly – significant events in terms of safety.
NEvents that must be reported to the supervisory authority within five working days in order for the authority to be able to early identify potential weak points. Generally these events are of minor safety-related importance and go beyond individual routine operational events in specified plant state and operation.
VEvents taking place before the plant has been commissioned which must be reported within 10 days and about which the supervisory authority must be informed with respect to the future safe operation of the plant.

Within the past years, the major part of the reportable events in German nuclear power plants and research reactors were classified as category N. Only a few reportable events were classified as category E.

Reporting channel

Reporting channel

The operator notifies the supervisory authority about the reportable event by means of a reporting form. In this form, the operator provides general information about the installation and the event as well as information about

  • Causes and effects,
  • Measures to redress the effects, and
  • Provisions for non-repetition of such an event.

After an initial evaluation the supervisory authority reports the event to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit - BMUB) and, in parallel, to the Incident Registration Centre of the Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (Bundesamt für Kerntechnische Entsorgungssicherheit, BfE) and to the Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS). In the process,

  • The BfE registers and documents the reportable events,
  • The BMUB executes the federal supervision of the federal states' actions in the scope of the federal executive administration, thus enabling a uniform implementation of safety principles and requirements.

Explanations on the reporting procedure

Implementation provisions supporting the reporting procedure have been approved by the Länder Committee for Nuclear Energy – Steering Committee. These are:

  • Explanations relating to the application of the reporting criteria pursuant Appendices 1 to 5 of the Nuclear Safety Officer and Reporting Ordinance,
  • Reporting forms for the written reporting of events to the supervisory authorities,
  • Compilation of terms used.

These documents are published in the Handbook on Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection (No. 1A-17, only in German). Apart from clarifying and describing the radiological and technical plant-related reporting criteria and, thus, defining the associated reporting threshold more exactly, the "Explanations of the reporting criteria" serve to take into account the supervisory authorities' experiences gained so far with the execution of the Nuclear Safety Officer and Reporting Ordinance. Therefore the explanations are continuously improved and adapted.

State of 2018.06.01

© Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management