The Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency was adopted on 26 September 1986 and entered into force on 26 February 1987. Germany became a State Party to the Convention on 15 October 1989. The European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) joined as a supranational organisation on 14 December 2006. To date, 68 countries have acceded to the Convention.

Provision of assistance

If a State Party needs assistance in the event of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency, it may call for such assistance from any other State Party and from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The State Party requesting assistance must specify the scope and type of assistance required. The assisting party then determines the extent to which it is able to meet the request. The IAEA acts as intermediary. The IAEA Response and Assistance Network (RANET), established in 2000, is an operational tool to support implementation of the Convention. Germany joined RANET in August 2013. Within RANET, State Parties are expected to identify their national capabilities and resources that may be made available to assist another State. This information is logged by the IAEA, enabling it to coordinate assistance swiftly if an incident occurs.

Bilateral agreements

In order to implement the Convention, Germany has entered into bilateral agreements with all nine neighbouring countries regarding mutual assistance in the event of a disaster or major accident. In addition, similar agreements are in place with Latvia, Hungary and the Russian Federation. Based on these various agreements, direct information and data exchange channels exist at the regional level between the authorities responsible for disaster preparedness at nuclear installations located close to the borders and the organisations responsible for monitoring the radiological situation.