In order to fulfil the objectives of the German Atomic Energy Act (Atomgesetz – AtG), defined in Section 1, namely to protect life, health and property against the hazards of this form of energy (i.e. the Act’s protective purpose), the construction and operation of, or essential modifications to, nuclear installations must be properly regulated through a comprehensive system of licensing and supervision (Sections 7 and 19 of the Act). Once they have undergone mandatory licensing, nuclear power plants are therefore subject to continuous supervision by the authorities for the duration of their lifetimes, from the start of construction to the end of decommissioning. This is undertaken on behalf of the Federation by the nuclear licensing and supervisory authorities established by the German federal states (Länder). The body of legislation pertaining to nuclear installations and relevant technical regulations form the legal framework for the system of licensing and supervision.