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Nuclear safety

Nuclear power plant Brokdorf Nuclear power plant BrokdorfNuclear Power plant Brokdorf

In nuclear power plants electricity is generated by nuclear fission. Additionally there are nuclear reactors for research purposes and facilities for the supply and waste management of these reactors.

All nuclear facilities are approved and supervised by regulatory authorities because of the potential hazards associated with their operation. In case of an event in such a facility, it must be reported and documented in detail. Following this, an in-depth safety-related evaluation of the event is carried out. Extensive safety regulations must also be observed in the decommissioning of nuclear facilities, e.g. in the dismantling of a nuclear power plant.

In order to always keep the state-of-the-art of science and technology when performing this important task, experts co-operate on the national and international level.

State of 2018.05.29
Kernkraftwerk Grohnde

Nuclear power plants

In nuclear power plants heat is generated in the reactor core by controlled nuclear fission. The heat is taken up by a coolant and produces steam. The steam is driving a turbine that is coupled to a generator finally producing electricity.

In Germany there are 7 operating nuclear power plants therof 6 are pressurized water reactors (PWR) and 1 is a boiling water reactor (BWR).

International Atomic Energy Agency - IAEASource: IAEA

International co-operation

The Federal Office for Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE) co-operates with relevant scientific organisations and regulatory bodies on both the national and international level in all its areas of activity, e.g. nuclear safety.

Incident Registration Centre operated by BfE

The Incident Registration Centre operated by BfE is charged with recording and documentation of all reportable events occurring in German nuclear facilities which are reported by the licensees to the competent Länder regulatory authority and in turn forwarded to BfE. The Incident Registration Centre assesses these events on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

Nuclear regulatory body

Licensing and supervision

Protection of man and the environment is one of the most important tasks of the state. This also applies to possible hazards brought about by the operation or decommissioning of nuclear installations. Therefore, nuclear installations for the production, treatment, processing or fission of nuclear fuel must undergo a nuclear licensing procedure for their erection and operation and are permanently subject to state supervision.

Aerial photo nuclear power plant GreifswaldSource: EWN GmbH

Decommissioning of nuclear facilities

After final shut down of a nuclear facility preparatory works for decommissioning are carried out during the post operational phase. The following decommissioning requires a comprehensive licensing process which includes an environmental impact assessment as well as aspects of radiological protection.

© Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management