Frequently asked questions

What is the RSK?

The Reactor Safety Commission (RSK) advises the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) on technical/scientific issues and related matters concerning the security of nuclear facilities. It does not propose any political decisions. RSK membership is a personal honorary office. RSK members are not bound by directives of the BMUV or any other institution.

How is the RSK composed?

RSK members are appointed by the BMUV. The RSK is a pluralistic body, which means that its members represent a large bandwidth of opinions in the area of its responsibility in order to ensure that the advice given to the BMUV 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 BMUV, 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 BMUV 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 BMUV.

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, whereas the Commission may furnish particulars to third parties.