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Reportable events

The German Nuclear Safety Officer and Reporting Ordinance (AtSMV) introduced on 14 October 1992 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 1766) made it mandatory for nuclear facility operators to report reportable events (ranging from outages or malfunctions to accidents) to the relevant supervisory authority. The purpose of reporting such events to authorities is to both supervise plant safety and improve it using the knowledge gained from the reported events. This means that reported events play a key part in the early detection of defects at a plant while also helping other plants to detect and/or prevent similar occurrences. Based on an initial engineering assessment, reportable events having occurred are grouped into different reporting categories.

In Germany the individual states are responsible for the supervision and surveillance of nuclear facilities. Within the scope of federal executive administration, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) exercises federal supervision of the states and ensures that safety principles and requirements are applied in a uniform manner.

Nuclear facility operators will first submit reportable events to their responsible state authority, which will then pass this information to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and the incident registration centre operated by the Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE), and to the experts appointed by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS). The respective state authority will then assess the operator's report – together with an expert if required – and take appropriate action as and where necessary.

The incident registration centre operated by theFederal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE) is charged with recording and documenting all reportable events that occur in German nuclear facilities (nuclear power plants in particular) and were forwarded by the respective state supervisory authority to the BfE. The incident registration centre then assesses these events on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), thus supporting the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) in its task to provide the general public with regular updates on reportable events by publishing such details online. In addition to monthly reports, the BfE also prepares annual reports on reportable events, categorised by nuclear power plant, research reactor and nuclear fuel cycle facilities. A special online archive also provides reports from previous years that include information about the reporting process, a map showing where the nuclear facilities subject to reportable events are located, and the current status of each facility.

The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) commissions GRS to assess both domestic and international events as well as other findings to determine whether any of the collected information can be used at other nuclear facilities. In order to achieve a broad range of scientific views, other experts such as the Physikerbüro Bremen and das Oeko-Institut are also called upon. Following approval by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), GRS also issues so-called "forwarding messages" containing recommendations for improvements to be made at German nuclear power plants.

Last update: 22.09.2017

Further information

BfE: Reportable events