Emergency preparedness in Germany
Despite the high safety standards, accidents in a nuclear power plant which result in radioactive material being released into the environment cannot be completely ruled out. Therefore, emergency response authorities and operators of nuclear plants attach high importance to emergency management. In the field of nuclear technology, on-site emergency preparedness goes hand in hand with off-site emergency preparedne:
- On-site emergency preparedness is the responsibility of the respective nuclear power plant operator and is subject to strict monitoring by the supervisory authorities. It includes technical and organizational measures for the control of an accident and the mitigation of possible consequences. According to § 53 of the Radiation Protection Ordinance, plant operators are liable to publish information brochures in regular intervals for the information of the general public. These brochures contain general information on the plant as well as details on the emergency management plans.
- Off-site emergency preparedness falls under the authorities’ responsibility. It is divided into emergency response and precautionary radiation protection.
- Whilst emergency response aims at the protection against deterministic and stochastic radiation effects, i.e. is aimed at the direct defence against hazards in an accident, precautionary radiation protection aims at the implementation of preventative measures for the health of the public.
- The responsibility for emergency response lies with the Federal States which have enacted special laws for this purpose (disaster control laws). If several Federal States were to be affected by a nuclear accident, the States would coordinate the measures among each other.
- The responsibility for precautionary radiation protection provision lies with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, which coordinates the precautionary measures.