Navigation and service


According to nuclear law, the Federal Office for Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE) is responsible for the licensing of nuclear fuel transports and large sources. It has taken over this task on 30. July 2016 from the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) that had been responsible until then. A licence is only granted if compliance with the regulations of nuclear law and hazardous goods law has been proven.

Once the BfE has granted the transport licence, the competent supervisory authorities must ensure that the legal requirements for the safety of man and environment are kept. For road transports, these are the regional authorities named by the Länder, for rail transports it is the Federal Railway Authority.

Graphic of a CASTOR-cask in a lorrie

How are radioactive materials transported?

The radioactive material used in many areas of social life such as medicine (diagnostics and therapy), technology (screening), research or energy generation (supply and waste management of nuclear power stations) often requires transport.

CASTOR on a waggon

Authorisation of nuclear fuel transports

If a carrier wishes to transport nuclear fuels he requires a transport license. For this purpose he files an application to the Federal Office for Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE). The BfE examines whether the safety criteria are in compliance with the Atomic Energy Act (AtG) § 4 and whether the legal provisions relating to the transport of hazardous materials are met. Which one of the routes applied for is used and when the transport takes place is in the responsibility of the license holder.

Schiff, Eisenbahn, Flugzeug, LKW

Facts and figures on nuclear fuel transports

With under 500 transports per year, the transports of nuclear fuels and large sources licensed by the BfE are only a small portion of the total number of transports of radioactive materials. The largest number of radioactive material transports are carried out for measurement, research and medical purposes. These are not licensed by the BfE but are subjected to other regulations.


Who authorises transports of radioactive materials?

Pursuant to nuclear law (Atomic Energy Act, Radiation Protection Ordinance), a license is generally required for the transport of radioactive materials in Germany. One differentiates between "nuclear fuels" and "other radioactive materials".

Liste der Transportgenehmigungen (Beispiel)

Current transport licenses

The BfE is responsible for the licensing of transports of nuclear fuel and large sources. The current list of granted licenses is published on a regular basis.

© Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management