Emergency Preparedness and Response for Practices

General information

In the Strahlenschutzgesetz (Radiation Protection Act – StrSchG) and the Allgemeine Strahlenschutzverordnung (General Radiation Protection Ordinance – AllgStrSchV), the requirements for emergency preparedness and response for practices follow a graded approach. This means that the respective official regulations for certain practices take into account the different radiation risks associated with the respective practice. Accordingly, companies that carry out practices with a higher risk potential must take more extensive precautionary measures than those that carry out practices with a lower risk potential. This also applies to the application documents for the licensing procedure. In the case of practices with a higher hazard potential, the application for a licence for a practice must be accompanied by a safety analysis and an emergency plan. This is always required for practices involving dangerous radioactive sources.

Much more extensive requirements apply to emergency preparedness and response for the operation of research reactors and disposal facilities for the treatment of radioactive waste. Therefore, these are not considered here.

A distinction must be made between emergency preparedness and emergency response for practices. Emergency preparedness is used to prepare for a possible radiological emergency. If a radiological emergency occurs in connection with the practice being performed, the emergency response must be carried out immediately by the company or its workers.

Each licence holder is obliged to carry out the emergency response immediately in the event of an incident. The emergency response must, in any case, include:

  1. notifying the competent authority;
  2. taking all appropriate measures to reduce the consequences;
  3. perform an initial provisional assessment of the circumstances and an estimation of the consequences of the radiological emergency as well as
  4. assisting with the implementation of protective measures.

The obligation for emergency preparedness is found in § 59 of the StrSchG: "For the operation of nuclear installations and waste management facilities and for practices involving dangerous radioactive sources, the licensee shall make arrangements to protect workers in the event of a radiological emergency related to the practice performed." By preparing a safety analysis, the respective company is enabled to prepare for relevant emergency scenarios. The safety analysis must take into account the areas listed in Annex 17 to the AllgStrSchV.

Preparation for relevant emergency scenarios is carried out, among other things, by drawing up an emergency plan taking into account Annex 11 to the AllgStrSchV and by conducting emergency drills. Further specifications for reviewing and updating the safety analysis and the emergency plan can be found in § 78 of the AllgStrSchV.

Last update

1 January 2024

Legal basis

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Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology
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