Radioactive waste disposal: Realignment of organisational structure
Key data on the planned changes
With passing the Repository Site Selection Act in the middle of 2013, the legislator did not only establish a procedure for searching a repository site in particular for high-level radioactive waste, but also regulated the responsibilities in radioactive waste disposal.
The changes laid down in the "Act on the Realignment of the Organisational Structure in the Field of Radiation Protection and Radioactive Waste Disposal" basically aim to structure the organisations and authorities in a manner that future tasks, such as the search for a site for a repository for high-level radioactive waste, can be implemented successfully. Furthermore, the aim is to improve the organisational structures in existing areas and to ensure a clear allocation of responsibilities and tasks in the field of radiation protection and radioactive waste disposal.
The changes that were decided by the German Bundestag and the German Bundesrat in June 2016, are a response to proposals brought up repeatedly in the political debate repeatedly by Wolfram König, President of the BfS. In March 2015, the Repository Commission broadly followed the President’s proposals. The Act entered into force on 30 July 2016.
The proposals are geared towards the experiences of the BfS as operator of the repository sites Asse, Morsleben, and Konrad near Salzgitter. The reorganisation is an instrument to optimise processes in the field of radioactive waste management and to enhance their efficiency.
The changes include:
- A federally-owned company has been founded for the operative tasks of searching for a site, construction and operation of the repositories and the Asse II mine. This company takes over the tasks of Asse-GmbH, the DBE and the operator tasks of the BfS. The company is headquartered in Peine. The sites Salzgitter and Remlingen remain.
- The federal tasks of supervision and licensing are bundled in one authority (Federal Office for the Regulation of Nuclear Waste Management – Bundesamt für Kerntechnische Entsorgungssicherheit, BfE). This authority has been established especially for this purpose and citizens can clearly identify it as regulatory authority.
The execution of the associated tasks that had so far been distributed to different federal and Länder authorities was difficult for the citizens to follow. At times, for example, the false impression was given that the BfS was acting at the same time as operator and regulator in the same area.
Until a decision about a new repository site will have been taken, the BfE will be located in Salzgitter and in Berlin.
- The BfS will concentrate on the federal radiation protection tasks, e.g. in the field of defence against nuclear hazards, medical research, mobile communication, UV protection or the measuring networks for environmental radioactivity.
State of 2016.08.01