The Reactor Safety Commission (RSK), the German Commission on Radiological Protection (SSK) and the Nuclear Waste Management Commission (ESK) advise the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) on issues of fundamental significance and on the initiation of more comprehensive technical safety measures. The members of the Commissions are appointed by the BMUV and are obliged to provide impartial and scientifically sound advice. Based on their deliberations, the Commissions produce and publish general recommendations, as well as opinions on specific cases. The RSK and ESK Secretariats are hosted by the Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BASE), while the SSK Secretariat is part of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS).
The Reactor Safety Commission, established in 1958, advises the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUV) on safety and security at nuclear installations and makes a major contribution to the development of safety standards for nuclear facilities. The RSK has four committees working in the following specialised areas:
- plant and systems engineering,
- pressure-retaining components and materials,
- electric installations,
- reactor operation.
The German Commission on Radiological Protection (SSK) was established in 1974. It advises the BMUV on issues concerning protection from the risks of ionising and non-ionising radiation. The SSK has seven committees working in the following specialised areas:
- radiation risk,
- radiological protection in medicine,
- radiation protection technology,
- emergency management,
- non-ionising radiation, and
- radiological protection in nuclear installations.
In a nuclear or radiological event or corresponding exercises, the Commission on Radiological Protection is represented by an emergency advisory board (SSK emergency advisory board).
The Nuclear Waste Management Commission (ESK) was established in 2008. It advises the BMUV on all aspects of nuclear waste management. It has three committees working in the following specialised areas:
- conditioning, storage and transport of radioactive materials and waste,
- decommissioning and dismantling of nuclear facilities, and
- disposal in deep geological formations.