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Licensing and supervision procedures / the Federal Environment Ministry’s tasks

The Atomic Energy Act and its related ordinances primarily provide the legal framework for decommissioning nuclear power plants. In order for a plant to be decommissioned and dismantled, the operator must apply for a licence. The licensing procedure for the first decommissioning is subject to an environmental impact assessment. For this reason, the application for issuance of the first licence outlines the overall decommissioning concept and its potential impacts on man and the environment. Subsequent stages of licensing cover the technical implementation of the dismantling measures. The competent Land licensing authority carries out the licensing procedure.

The competent Land supervisory authority monitors compliance with the decommissioning licence. It reviews whether the decommissioning activities satisfy the conditions and obligations specified in the licence. Independent, authorised experts carry out supplementary checks on behalf of the Land supervisory authority.

In the framework of the distribution of responsibilities between the Federation and the Länder laid down in the Basic Law, the Federation is responsible for structuring the framework applicable to decommissioning (Atomic Energy Act, Radiation Protection Ordinance, notifications by the Federal Environment Ministry such as the decommissioning guide, and recommendations and guidelines from the Nuclear Waste Management Commission, etc.). The Federation is also in charge of supervising the administrative actions of the Länder authorities, and of supervision relating to the legality and expediency of implementation. It works very closely with the Länder, both in bodies that include representatives of all Länder and bilaterally with individual Länder

Last update: 11.12.2015