Approval aspects

3.1 Atomic energy and construction law

Building, operating and making major changes to nuclear installations must be approved under atomic energy law. The government approval process used depends on the national law requirements involved in each case, so varies from one country to another.

Before they can be allowed to build and operate nuclear installations, there are a number of basic requirements that applicants and operators have to meet:

— Applicants and operating managers must be reliable and expert.

— Those working at the company must know how to run it safely, what the potential risks are and the safety precautions required.

— Know what precautions are required under the state of the art of science and technology to prevent erection and operating the plant causing damage.

— Know what protection is required against anomalies and other effects by third parties.

— Keep water, air and soil clean in the public interest.

In Germany, the legal framework for using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is provided by the Atomic Energy Act and regulations issued pursuant to it. The safety goals and measures are laid down in Section 2.5 of the Atomic Energy Act [4]. These are clarified specifically by Atomic Energy Act regulations and internal administrative rules and guidelines, such as the guidelines for PWRs [5] or design basis accidents guidelines [6]. These guidelines cover the design basis accidents to be considered and managed; they also specify the requirements of the radiological protection ordinance [7].

The building structures required to meet the safety targets, which are therefore classified as safety-related, have to meet not only the requirements of construction law but also those of the Atomic Energy Act. That means both planning permission and permission under the Atomic Energy Act are required in Germany. To be approved under Atomic Energy Act, constructors/operators must show that they have taken the necessary precautions against damage in accordance with the state of the art of science and technology. Safety-related building structures must therefore meet not just the conventional requirements of construction law but also additional safety requirements in line with the state of the art of science and technology.

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