The RSK is widely acknowledged as the main body that, with its expertise, determines the state of the art in science and technology in the field of reactor safety for Germany and advises the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) on the extent to which the operators of nuclear installations fulfil the requirements regarding the necessary precautions (damage and risk prevention) through appropriate equipment, organisation and management.

The understanding of the RSK is that it not only deals with orders and requests of the BMUV, but also, when it sees the need, defines own topics related to safety aspects of reactor safety and issues corresponding statements. This includes, in particular, early indications to safety-related aspects that may arise from current events or foreseeable developments. This also concerns, for example, maintenance of know-how and other impacts as a result of the "energy turnaround".

The RSK members bring in their expertise in the consultations impartially as independent persons and work together on a basis of trust. The objective of all members of the RSK is to implement the best possible safety for nuclear installations.

The work of the RSK should be as transparent as possible for all those involved (authorities, operators, manufacturers, authorised experts, the public). This applies to the work programmes, the presentation of the consultations, and the publication of the consultation results. The RSK sees limits of transparency if this would violate confidentiality requirements, or if there would be a risk of an external undue influence on the consultation result.