Successful conclusion of second IRRS mission
A commission of international experts has awarded top marks to Germany’s nuclear licensing and supervisory authorities at Federal and Länder level, as the experts confirmed in their final report presented today. Prior to this, a two-week review was conducted in Bonn in the context of the IRRS mission (Integrated Regulatory Review Service), which is a service provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) designed to improve and enhance nuclear safety worldwide.
The IAEA presented the IRRS team’s draft report to the German government today. As an overall result, the review confirms that the nuclear regulatory body in Germany meets international standards.
The IRRS team found that Germany’s nuclear licensing and supervisory authorities are mature and competent and highlighted the effective cooperation with other organisations and interested parties. “Germany has demonstrated a strong commitment to nuclear and radiation safety during a period of significant transition,” said IRRS team leader Dan Dorman, Deputy Executive Director of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of the United States of America. “This team has identified a number of opportunities to clarify guidance within the regulatory framework to promote efficiency and consistency while maintaining a high level of safety.”
As expected, the mission provided impetus for a continuous improvement of the regulatory body’s work. The licensing and supervisory authorities of the Federation and the Länder received recommendations and suggestions on how to further enhance their supervisory activities.
According to the provisional statements of the IAEA, the German regulatory body exceeds international standards as regards emergency preparedness and received a good practice designation from the IRRS team. Germany’s Integrated Measurement and Information System (IMIS) in combination with the uniform radiological situation report, which is drawn up by Germany’s Radiological Situation Centre in the case of national emergencies, were praised by the team as a solid basis for coordinated emergency preparedness.
German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze commented: “I am very pleased that the most recent IRRS mission confirms that our nuclear supervision meets international requirements. Even though Germany has decided to phase out nuclear energy, the safety of our nuclear facilities remains a top priority for us. Moreover, we want to be able to support our neighbouring countries as a competent partner even after the phase-out. This is very important to me since nuclear hazards cannot be contained by national borders.”
From 31 March to 12 April, the expert commission, which consisted of high-level representatives of nuclear supervisory authorities from 16 countries, assessed the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), the Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE), the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) and the responsible Länder ministries of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North-Rhine Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein in their capacity as licensing and supervisory authorities. The experts reviewed to what extent the German system meets the requirements specified in the IAEA’s international regulations.
Following the mission, the competent Federal and Länder authorities will meet and examine the results in the final report. Measures for implementing recommendations and suggestions made by the IRRS team will then be incorporated in the national action plan.