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Physical protection of nuclear installations

Nuclear facilities - such as nuclear power plants or storage facilities - must not only be able to withstand faults (safety). They must also be protected against malicious acts (security). GRS’s field of activity of plant security deals with possible intentional third-party interference: the so-called malicious acts.

If a nuclear installation is not sufficiently protected against malicious acts, it cannot be licensed. In order to prevent the theft or a significant release of radioactive materials by malicious acts, nuclear installations are secured by a staggered system of structural, technical and administrative measures. These measures include, inter alia:
1. building structures (e.g. external walls, vehicle barriers, guard doors)
2. technical systems (e.g. detection systems, access control, lighting)
3. administrative measures (e.g. security guards, security checks)

The securing of fissile material includes not only measures within the installations but also all phases along the fuel cycle (e.g. transports, disposal of radioactive materials).

Support of the federal and state governments in supervisory and licensing procedures

GRS is the contact of the Federal and the Länder Governments when it comes to the physical protection of radioactive materials - in particular fissile material – all along the entire fuel cycle. In licensing and supervisory procedures, GRS assesses the security concepts for nuclear installations as well as for transports and the measures derived from them.

Within the framework supervisory procedures, GRS checks the function of the individual security measures on site on behalf of the Länder. In licensing procedures, GRS assesses the security concepts and their implementation in the case of new buildings, e.g. storage facilities, and in the case of major plant modifications. In addition, GRS prepares e.g. contributions to the further development of security-related load assumptions for the federal regulator.
Assessments are based on the requirements and regulations laid down in the Atomic Energy Act, the nuclear ordinances, rules and guidelines as well as the current state of the art and knowledge.

International activities

On behalf of the Federal Foreign Office, GRS manages German projects to modernise the physical protection of nuclear installations in the Ukraine. The projects are embedded in the efforts coordinated internationally within the G7 Global Partnership Working Group to improve the global security of nuclear fuels and other radioactive substances against their misuse, e.g. by terrorists. GRS checks the suitability and appropriateness of the modernisation measures and investments and provides the project management.