Europe and International
Nuclear safety is also a transnational issue. The impacts of a nuclear accident do not stop at national borders, so a coordinated approach with neighbouring countries and other European and international partners is essential.
The safety of nuclear installations located near borders is particularly important from a German perspective. The German authorities exchange information about the status of these installations with neighbouring countries and support compliance with the relevant safety standards.
In the European Union, mandatory minimum standards have been set in the Euratom Directives on nuclear safety, on the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste and on radiation protection. Numerous international agreements on nuclear safety are also in place. As an EU member state, Germany is subject to the Euratom Directives on nuclear safety and on safe management of nuclear waste and is therefore obliged to submit regular written reports describing how it is meeting its commitments. Germany is also required to submit national reports on a regular basis in its capacity as a Contracting Party to the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.
The agreements of specific relevance to the nuclear industry are supplemented by other provisions of international law, e.g. on environmental protection. Specific instruments are available to support international cooperation in this area, including transboundary strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for plans and programmes and transboundary environmental impact assessment (EIA) for specific projects. A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is carried out at an earlier stage than an EIA. An SEA is conducted at the planning stage because important decisions relating to the environment often have to be taken in the context of preparatory plans and programmes, whereas an EIA is not performed until an environmentally relevant project enters the approval process.