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International co-operation

The Federal Office for the 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. The most important goals of international co-operation are:

  • active participation in the development of internationally recognized standards for the safety of installations and transports of radioactive substances,
  • exchange of experience with international partners in order to identify improvements needs for improvements within the BfE's own responsibility,
  • scientific exchange on methods and findings, on the assessment of the international status of science and technology and its further development, and on co-operation for research and studies,
  • exchange of information, and providing support or assistance, as required.

Report on Nuclear Regulatory Issues

In co-operation with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE) prepares in intervals of about half a year a short overview on recent developments in Germany regarding

  • laws and regulation in the nuclear field,
  • operation and decommissioning of nuclear power plants and research reactors, as well as
  • repository site selection and waste management.

The focus are on the recent developments of licensing and regulatory oversight of nuclear installations.

This document primarily serves for the information of the partners of Germany in co-operation with its neighbours and with international organisations about recent developments in Germany.

International Atomic Energy Agency - IAEASource: IAEA

The Convention on Nuclear Safety

The International Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) aims at increasing the safety of civil nuclear power plants world-wide. The Convention came into force on 24 October 1996. As of today there are 78 Contracting Parties including EURATOM. 10 Signatory States are not yet Contracting Parties to the Convention. Germany has been Contracting Party since 20 April 1997. Since 1999 the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) has been making substantial contributions to formulating the Convention. On 30 July 2016, the Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE) took over this task from the BfS. In addition to taking part in developing the German report the BfE takes over organisational tasks in the meetings and is actively involved in improving the process.

European cooperation on Nuclear Safety

European cooperation

At the European level, also obligations to guarantee the safety of nuclear installations and radioactive waste management result from the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community – Euratom. Pursuant to Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty, Germany is obliged to inform the European Commission about planned releases of radioactive material from nuclear installations. This is done with the support of the BfE. Besides, the BfE supports the German input in the improvement of nuclear safety in ENSREG (European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group) and the development of basic requirements for nuclear safety in WENRA (Western European Nuclear Regulators’s Association).

Cooperation with OECD/NEA

The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is an intergovernmental organisation within Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Its mission is to support a safe, environmentally friendly and economical use of nuclear energy. Under the leadership of the Steering Committee, there are seven specialised standing technical committees. Amongst them are the Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA), the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) and the Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC). Experts of the BfE with experience in nuclear safety support the contribution of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit - BMUB) to the CNRA and attend to selected activities of the CSNI and the RWMC.

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