Reactor Safety Commission (RSK)

The RSK advises the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) in safety-related matters and thus matters concerning the physical protection of nuclear installations and radioactive waste management.* Further information on consultations and the topics dealt with are given in Chapter IV. Processes - 11. Consultations of the Reactor Safety Commission (RSK) and handling of the results (on page 75) of the Manual on cooperation between the Federation and the Länder in atomic law. Click here for the document (in German).

Since 1958, the RSK has been performing this advisory work for the federal ministry responsible for the safety of nuclear installations and radiation protection (since 2018 the BMU, formerly the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (2013-2018), the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (1986-2013), the Federal Ministry of the Interior (1972-1986), the Federal Ministry for Education and Science (1969-1972), the Federal Ministry of Scientific Research (1962-1969), the Federal Ministry of Nuclear Energy and Water (1958-1962)).

Current activities


* With the establishment of the NUCLEAR WASTE MANAGEMENT COMMISSION (Entsorgungskommission - ESK) at the BMU on 12.06.2008 and its first meeting on 30.06.2008, radioactive waste management has become a topic of consultations of the ESK (www.entsorgungskommission.de); the RSK Committee on FUEL SUPPLY AND WASTE MANAGEMENT (VE) ceased to exist.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the RSK?

The Nuclear Reactor Safety Commission (RSK) advises the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) in technical/scientific safety-related issues and associated matters concerning the physical protection of nuclear installations. It does not propose any political decisions. RSK membership is a personal honorary office. RSK members are not bound by directives of the BMU or any other institution.

How is the RSK composed?

RSK members are appointed by the BMU. The RSK is a pluralistic body, which means that its members represent a large bandwidth of opinions in the area of their tasks in order to ensure that the advice given to the BMU is based on expert knowledge as well as being comprehensive and objective. In their discussions, the members of the RSK respect differing expert views.

How does the RSK work?

The RSK receives advisory requests with concrete issues from the BMU, but it may also discuss problems on its own initiative. As a result of the confidential discussions, comments, recommendations or guidelines are adopted that are presented to the BMU and published on the RSK homepage. Any adoption requires the majority of the appointed members. Dissenting opinions of members may be added to the statements in writing.

How does the RSK handle conflicting interests of RSK members?

A member of the RSK is excluded from the discussion if
1. he/she is involved in a licensing or supervisory procedure that is the object of the discussion of the RSK, or
2. he/she is in paid employment at or is a member of the executive board, the board of directors or an equivalent organ of an organisation involved in a licensing or supervisory procedure (this does not apply to employment at a public-law institution), or
3. he/she has given an expert opinion for, provided advice to or acted in any other way on behalf of the applicant or anyone subjected to a supervisory measure on the matter that is to be discussed by the Commission.

The Commission decides in the absence of the member to be excluded about his/her exclusion. The member excluded is excluded from the discussion and decision-making, but may be heard during the meeting.

Who pays for the RSK and what are payments for?

As holders of an honorary office, the RSK members do not receive any remuneration. Travel expenses are reimbursed in line with the German Federal Travel Expenses Act, and an allowance of 30 € per meeting is paid. If discussions require special technical preparation, a fee of 40.90 €/h is paid upon application. These costs are borne by the BMU.

Why are the discussions of the RSK not public?

The discussions are not held in public to guarantee the independence of the Commission. This way, the members of the RSK enjoy protection regarding the media as well as their employers. The members are obliged to keep the confidentiality of the discussions.