Navigation and service

Committees developing nuclear safety standards

Standards are recognized engineering rules. Among others, this standardization serves to improve quality and safety in industry, technology and science.

Through the development of standards it is possible to promptly consider the influence of current technological developments on the safety in nuclear installations. The Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE) supports these efforts through cooperation in various committees, subcommittees or expert committees at

Until 30 July 2016 the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) had been responsible for this task.

The German Commission for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technology of DIN and VDE (DKE)

The German Commission for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technology of DIN and VDE (Deutsche Kommission Elektrotechnik, Informationstechnik im DIN und VDE - DKE) is the national organisation for the development of standards and safety provisions in the field of electrical, electronic and information technology (VDE body of standards). It is the German member of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in Geneva and of the Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC) in Brussels.

The DKE work results are integral part of the German body of standards. The DKE standardisation work aims, among others, at the comprehensive safety of electrotechnical products and plants and the associated services. BfE staff actively takes part in the following DKE committees:

DKE Committee K 132 - Reliability

The DKE Committee K 132 deals with standards for reliability. Reliability refers to the capability of a product or technical system to maintain the demanded quality even over a longer period of time. With the participation of the BfS, among others, the following draft standards were commented:

  • DIN EN 62628: Guidelines on Software Aspects of Reliability (2012):

    This standard describes the procedures relating to the development of reliable software that are currently common practice in the industry, the required prerequisites and development processes and the main features for the reliable development of firmware.

  • E DIN IEC 60300-3-15 (2006): Reliability Management – Part 3-15: Instructions for the Technical Implementation of System Reliability

DKE Sub-committee UK 967.1 – Electrical Engineering and Instrumentation and Control Systems for Nuclear Installations

The German nuclear provisions and regulations (Safety requirements for nuclear power plants, KTA-Safety Standards) contain technology-independent safety requirements for electrical engineering and instrumentation and control systems in nuclear power plants. On account of the fast technological advances, they do not include a sufficient in-depth description of these requirements for software-based safety instrumentation and control systems.

Instead, detailed requirements for software-based safety instrumentation and control systemsfor nuclear power plants are formulated as standards of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) with the necessary effort and spreading the work internationally. Thus, cyclic checks for updates need to be performed for the IEC standards containing requirements for software-based instrumentation and control systems; if need be, the standards have to be developed further and integrated in the European or German body of standards.

In Germany, the DKE subcommittee Electrical Engineering and Instrumentation and Control Systems for Nuclear Installations (UK 967.1) deals with these standards. Proposals for revisions and commenting of the drafts are brought into the process to gradually develop the standards. Then, they are translated and incorporated into the German body of standards. Consistency with the requirements of the superordinated national nuclear rules and regulations needs to be observed.

Furthermore, selected standards are incorporated into the European body of standards in a procedure that has been coordinated with the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC). These are then binding in Germany as DIN EN standards. The BfE is an appointed member of the UK 967.1 and is involved in the commenting of standards with safety relevance.

Association of German Engineers (VDI)

The Association of German Engineers (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure - VDI) publishes a comprehensive program of technical guidelines. Among these are guidelines on nuclear safety. The guidelines are developed in expert committees and often serve as a basis for the development and updating of standards. The BfE is actively involved in the following expert committees in the field of nuclear safety:

VDI Expert Committee 510 "Software Reliability"

The Association of German Engineers (VDI) publishes a comprehensive program of technical guidelines. The VDI Society Product and Process Design (VDI-Gesellschaft Produkt- und Prozessgestaltung – GPP) deals with the broad field of technical reliability. The Expert Committee 510 "Software Reliability" is located here.

With the participation of the BfE, which had been responsible for this task until 30 July 2016, the VDI Expert Committee 510 is currently developing the VDI Guideline 4011 titled "Software Reliability". Besides an appropriate theoretical and conceptual framework, the planned guideline is to include especially aspects of specification of the acceptable behaviour of reliable software and methods to prove reliability as well as of maintaining the reliability in the case of modifications and configurations. The objective is to provide a rule that is useful for all application domains.

Expert Committee 7.11 of the VDI/VDE Association Measurement and Automation Technology "Instrumentation and Control Systems in Nuclear Power Plants"

The Expert Committee 7.11 "Instrumentation and Control in Nuclear Power Plants" is part of the VDI/VDE Society Measurement and Automatic Control (VDI/VDE-Gesellschaft Mess- und Automatisierungstechnik - GMA). GMA is an expert panel of the VDI and the technical-scientific Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (VDE). Experts in the fields of measuring and automation technology and optical technologies are part of this network. The GMA enables exchange of experiences in the field and deals with its specialist work in about 65 expert committees and boards.

The GMA expert committee 7.11 "Instrumentation and Control Systems in Nuclear Power Plants" is currently developing technical guidelines for the application of industrial serial products for the safety-relevant use in nuclear power plants. Some of these guidelines have already been dealt with by the DKE Subcommittee UK 967.1 in order to develop the draft for a corresponding IEC standard and to propose it to the IEC as standardisation draft.

Accordingly, the technical bases for the later standardisation are developed in Expert Committee 7.11. One BfE staff member appointed as a member is involved in the further development of these bases.

State of 2016.10.11

© Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management