Competent federal and Land authorities
Following the issuing of an organisational decree by the Federal Chancellor, responsibility for nuclear safety and radiation protection passed from the Ministry of the Interior, which had previously held this portfolio, to the newly established Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in 1986 (December 2013 - March 2018: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety - BMUB; since March 2018: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety – BMU). In the exercise of its statutory responsibilities pertaining to the safe utilisation of nuclear energy, the BMU’s remit includes clarifying fundamental issues of relevance to the safety of nuclear facilities. This includes, in particular, supervision of the legality and expediency of the action taken by the nuclear authorities of the Länder, the development and revision of legislation and technical regulations, and international cooperation.
The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) and the Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE) are among the authorities which fall within the purview of the BMU.
The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) is a scientific and technical higher federal authority set up in accordance with the Act on the Establishment of a Federal Office for Radiation Protection of 9 October 1989, last amended by Article 3 of the Act on Organisational Restructuring in the Field of Radioactive Waste Management of 26 July 2016.
BfS works for the safety and protection of people and the environment against damage caused by ionising and non-ionising radiation. In relation to ionising radiation, its work focuses, for example, on the use of X-rays for diagnostic purposes in medicine, safety in the handling of radioactive substances in nuclear technology, accident management and protection against enhanced natural radioactivity. The work in the field of non-ionising radiation includes protection against ultraviolet radiation and the effects of mobile communications.
The Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE) is a scientific and technical federal authority set up in accordance with the Act on the Establishment of a Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management of 23 July 2013, amended by Article 4 of the Act on Organisational Restructuring in the Field of Radioactive Waste Management of 26 July 2016.
The BfE is the regulatory authority for the site selection procedure for a repository for high-level radioactive wastes. It also coordinates the public consultation and undertakes task-related research. It acts as the supervisory authority for final storage schemes and is the planning approval authority. It is responsible, furthermore, for granting approval for nuclear fuel transport and interim storage of spent fuel elements from the operation of nuclear power plants or radioactive waste from reprocessing.
BfE staff members monitor the latest scientific and technological developments in the field of nuclear safety at the national and international level. The BfE’s Incident Registration Centre logs and documents all reportable events occurring in German nuclear installations. The reviews of these events and the findings of investigations are used by the BfE in order to propose improvements to nuclear safety, e.g. during the drafting of national and international safety standards.
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Federal Office for Nuclear Waste Management (BfE)
Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS)
Authorities of the Länder
The German Atomic Energy Act (AtG) and the ordinances based on it are – with some exceptions – implemented by the Länder on behalf of the Federation (this is known as execution by the Länder on federal commission; Articles 87c and 85 of the Basic Law; Section 24, paragraph 1 of the Atomic Energy Act). The Land governments have assigned the tasks of licensing and supervision of the nuclear sector to the highest Land authorities (ministries). Subordinate authorities of the Länder rarely have a role in implementing nuclear legislation. The Federation is responsible for supervising the legality and expediency of the action taken by the Land authorities.
Ministry of Environment, Climate and Energy Baden-Württemberg
Postfach 10 34 39
Bavarian Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection
Postfach 81 01 40
Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology
Senate Department for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection of the State of Berlin
Ministry of Justice and for Europe and Consumer Protection of the State of Brandenburg
Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Women and Family of the State of Brandenburg
Senator for Education, Science and Health of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen
The Senator for Environment, Construction and Transport of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen
Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
Ministry of Urban Development and Environment
Office for immission control and operations
Neuenfelder Straße 19
Hessian Ministry for Environment, Climate Protection, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
Mainzer Straße 80
Ministry of the Interior and Europe Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Lower Saxony Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Climate Protection
Postfach 41 07
Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia
Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, Nature and Consumer Protection of North Rhine-Westphalia
Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia
Ministry of Environment, Energy, Food and Forestry of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate
Ministry of Environment and Consumer Protection
Saxon State Ministry of Environment and Agriculture
Ministry of Environment, Agriculture and Energy of the State of Saxony-Anhalt
Leipziger Straße 58
Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Saxony-Anhalt
Ministry of Energy Transition, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas of Schleswig-Holstein
Thuringian Ministry for Environment, Energy and Nature Conservation
Postfach 90 03 65