Pursuant to the European Union’s Council Directive 2009/71/Euratom establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations (amended by Council Directive 2014/87/Euratom), Member States shall ensure that the prime responsibility for the nuclear safety of a nuclear installation rests with the licence holder. This is fulfilled by the provisions of Germany’s Atomic Energy Act regarding licensing and supervision, which are based on the principle of the licence holder’s responsibility. A licence for the construction and operation of a nuclear installation may only be granted if, for example, there are no concerns about the applicant’s reliability.

In terms of the German Radiation Protection Ordinance, the holder of the licence for a nuclear installation is also the radiation protection supervisor (Section 31 StrlSchV). In fulfilment of this function, the radiation protection supervisor must ensure compliance with all the legislation pertaining to radiation protection, particularly through the provision of suitable rooms, equipment and appliances, by appropriate control of operational modes and by provision of adequate and suitable staff.

The radiation protection supervisor appoints the requisite number of radiation protection officers for control and surveillance in order to ensure radiation protection during the operation of the nuclear installation. The radiation protection supervisor remains responsible notwithstanding the appointment of radiation protection officers.

Furthermore, the Nuclear Safety Officer and Reporting Ordinance (AtSMV) requires the appointment of a nuclear safety officer. The rights and obligations of the nuclear safety officer are specified in Section 4 of the Ordinance in a legally binding form. The nuclear safety officer’s duties include the evaluation and implementation of operating experience and verification of the accuracy and completeness of notifications of reportable events.