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Radioactive waste disposal: Realignment of organisational structure

Key data on the planned changes concerning radiation protection and radioactive waste disposal

With passing the Repository Site Selection Act in the middle of 2013, the legislator did not only establish a procedure for searching a repository site in particular for high-level radioactive waste, but also regulated the responsibilities in radioactive waste disposal.

2016, the legislator laid down the changes in the Act on the Organisational Restructuring in the Field of Radioactive Waste Management. The changes basically aim to structure the organisations and authorities in a manner that future tasks, such as the search for a site for a repository for high-level radioactive waste, can be implemented successfully. Furthermore, the aim is to improve the organisational structures in existing areas and to ensure a clear allocation of responsibilities and tasks in the field of radiation protection and radioactive waste disposal.

The changes that were decided by the German Bundestag and the German Bundesrat in June 2016, are a response to proposals brought up repeatedly in the public debate repeatedly by Wolfram König, President of the BfS from 1999 to 2017. In March 2015, the Repository Commission broadly followed the former BfS-President’s proposals. The Act entered into force on 30 July 2016.

The changes include:

  • A federally-owned company has been founded for the operative tasks of searching for a site, construction and operation of the repositories and the Asse II mine. This company bundles the tasks of Asse-GmbH, the DBE and the operator tasks of the BfS. As of April 25, 2017, the Confederation transferred operatorship to the BGE.

  • The federal tasks of supervision and licensing are bundled in one authority (Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management – Bundesamt für Kerntechnische Entsorgungssicherheit, BfE). This authority has been established especially for this purpose and citizens can clearly identify it as regulatory authority.

  • The BfS will concentrate on the federal radiation protection tasks, e.g. in the field of defence against nuclear hazards, medical research, mobile communication, UV protection or the measuring networks for environmental radioactivity.
State of 2017.11.28

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