German rules and regulations
The German constitution contains provisions on the competencies of the Federation and the Länder with regard to the use of nuclear energy (Article 73 No. 14, 87c, 85). Accordingly, the exclusive legislative competence in this area lies with the Federation.
As the competent licensing and supervisory authorities, the Länder execute nuclear law on federal commission (federal executive administration). Here, the Federation exercises legality and expediency supervision and may, if it deems it necessary, assume the competence for the subject matter. In any case, the Länder remain responsible for administrative action with external effect (so-called competence of perception). The nuclear regulatory framework is divided into regulations stipulated by law and non-mandatory guidance instruments. Among the former part, which is the sole responsibility of the Federation, there are, in particular, the Atomic Energy Act and the Radiation Protection Ordinance adopted pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act.
The regulatory instruments are not generally binding but are made mandatory by specification in the licence or by supervisory measures in the individual case. It is therefore appropriate and necessary that the Federation, i.e. the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the Länder, i.e. the nuclear licensing and supervisory authorities, jointly establish or revise regulations and agree on their application. The development of the "Safety Requirements for Nuclear Power Plants" started 2003 on behalf of the BMUB under the leadership of GRS, drawing on the expertise of further subcontractors, in particular the Öko-Institut and the Physikerbüro Bremen, as well as a number of other recognised experts. The results were presented to the BMUB in Revision E in September 2011 and subsequently discussed and revised with the Länder authorities also including the participation of the Reactor Safety Commission (RSK) and a hearing of experts (authorised experts, manufacturers, and operators).
Safety standards of the Nuclear Safety Standards Commission (KTA safety standards)
The KTA Program of Standards includes more detailed specifications on safety standards for nuclear facilities. These are developed by the Nuclear Safety Standards Commission and reviewed every five years to ensure that they are up to date and updated where required. KTA safety standards have to be adopted by consensus of the groups represented in the KTA (manufactures, operators, authoritiesm authorised experts and others). More information can be found on the website of the KTA.
Handbook on Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection
The Handbook on Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection gives an overview of all nuclear regulations published in Germany. These are compiled according to legal provisions, general administrative provisions, announcements of the BMUB, relevant regulations and recommendations, the KTA and relevant committees.