The Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident was adopted in 1986 and entered into force on 27 October 1986. 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. In total, 69 countries have now acceded to the Convention.

The Convention applies to:

  • nuclear reactors
  • nuclear fuel cycle and radioactive waste management facilities
  • transport and storage of nuclear fuels or radioactive wastes
  • the manufacture, use, storage, disposal and transport of radioisotopes for agricultural, industrial, medical and related scientific and research purposes
  • the use of radioisotopes for power generation in space objects.

Reporting procedure

In the event of an accident, the State Party concerned is required to notify forthwith, and subsequently at regular intervals, those States which are or may be affected and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the nuclear accident, its nature, the time of its occurrence, its exact location and the foreseeable development relevant to the transboundary release of radioactive materials. Information is also to be provided on the results of environmental monitoring and protective measures taken or planned. The information to be provided on the radiological situation and protective measures in the event of an accident at a nuclear power plant may, for example, be based on monitoring data gathered in surveillance programmes and the operator’s data on the status of the plant.

Notifying other agencies

As with reporting under this Convention, information is shared within the European Union in compliance with Community arrangements for the early exchange of information in the event of a radiological emergency (87/600/Euratom: Council Decision of 14 December 1987). In addition, Germany shares information with neighbouring countries as stipulated in bilateral agreements.