State Office for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection
The State Office for Atomic Safety and Radiation Protection (SAAS) was the organ of the Council of Ministers of the German Democratic Republic to enforce the interests of atomic safety and radiation protection. Nuclear safety includes nuclear safety and measures to prevent the improper use of nuclear energy. The SAAS was founded in August 1973 and emerged from the State Center for Radiation Protection. The office was dissolved by July 1991 as part of the measures for German unity. The official seat was Berlin- Lichtenberg (OT Karlshorst).
The office was founded by resolution of the Council of Ministers of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in August 1973. The position of the office, its tasks and working methods as well as its work organization were regulated in a statute. Nuclear safety was understood to mean both nuclear safety and protection against the improper use of nuclear energy. The predecessors of the SAAS are the Institute for Dust Research and Radioactive Suspended Solids, established in 1957, and the Central Office for Radioactive Residues and Waste, established in 1959. The office emerged from the State Center for Radiation Protection (SZS) founded in July 1962. The beginnings of the SZS formed structures from the area of responsibility of the Office for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Technology (AKK), which was dissolved in the first half of 1963, and the Ministry of Health. Initially, the following were merged to form the SZS:
- the AKK radiation protection department,
- the institute for dust research and radioactive suspended matter, Berlin-Friedrichshagen,
- the headquarters for radioactive waste Lohmen,
- the department for physics and dosimetry of the AKK,
- the inspection and central investigation body for radiation hygiene (area of the Ministry of Health).
With the SZS, an independent central institution with responsibility for all radiation protection problems was to be created. This strict separation of responsibility for the development and use of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation and the control of safety was reaffirmed by the SAAS statute.
In the course of development, there were numerous changes and extensions. The development of structures should be emphasized
- for ensuring nuclear safety
- for extensive radiation protection medical examinations and controls,
- for training and further education of specialists in radiation protection (up to the offer of postgraduate studies ),
- on international cooperation with the Soviet Union , the states of the Council for Mutual Economic Aid and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna,
- for the implementation of nuclear material control under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons .
The SAAS was dissolved as part of German reunification. According to Federal German law, the federal states are responsible for almost all enforcement tasks of radiation protection and reactor safety, in accordance with a federal structure opposite to the centralized state organization in the GDR. Tasks of the SAAS, which are also part of the federal tasks in the Federal Republic, were transferred to a radiation protection department of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS), others to the BfS departments for nuclear safety and radioactive waste temporarily taken over by the Joint Institution of the Federal States (GEL) before they subsequently passed into state sovereignty. Many of the more than 600 SAAS employees were taken on by institutions with comparable areas of responsibility, e.g. B. from the Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB), from the Society for Plant and Reactor Safety (GRS), from the Federal Health Office (BGA) and the newly emerging state authorities, but also from industry. Others were initially put on hold, which for some led directly to retirement or (at least temporarily) to unemployment.
Tasks and way of working
The office was responsible for ensuring that the work required in the areas of nuclear safety and radiation protection was planned and carried out in all areas of the economy, for research tasks and the training of specialists.
Principles had to be worked out for a uniform procedure for
- the radiation protection of the population and of occupationally exposed people,
- the protection of the environment and property against radioactive contamination,
- the storage of radioactive waste and
- ensuring nuclear safety
In this context, the office was obliged to analyze international scientific findings, to deepen them through its own investigations and to take them into account in its own work.
The SAAS established binding limit values , guide values and norms for nuclear safety and radiation protection for the GDR . It issued permits for all types of traffic with radioactive substances, the operation of nuclear facilities or other facilities that emit ionizing radiation. For radiation sources, various systems that generate ionizing radiation and radiation protection equipment, type approvals have been granted and radiation protection equipment and measuring devices have been tested.
The relevant legal provisions have been continuously adapted to the state of the art in science and technology as well as the international recommendations in the field. In 1974 there were already 46 pieces of legislation that fully took into account all of the current international recommendations. The revision of the Atomic Energy Act was an important step towards the further development of the legal system for the use of atomic energy and protection against its dangers. and the newly drafted ordinance on guaranteeing nuclear safety and radiation protection in 1983/84. A legal norm was created that fully took into account own and international experience, the state of science and technology as well as the recommendations of expert organizations - in particular the International Commission on Radiation Protection and the International Atomic Energy Organization.
The constant scientific cooperation with the USSR and the countries of the Comecon in the subject area had to be guaranteed. In particular, the activities of specialist committees of the Comecon had to be organized and carried out. The office was able to conclude contracts for international cooperation in the field.
The office was responsible for the implementation of agreements on nuclear safety and radiation protection under international treaties. It implemented measures resulting from obligations to international controls. The extensive controls and international inspections in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities should be emphasized here.
The SAAS was the central state body responsible for exercising membership of the GDR in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It was responsible for the scientific representation of the GDR in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection in the UN system as well as in the context of other memberships of the GDR in international organizations.
The SAAS had extensive tasks in the field of medical measures for radiation protection. This concerned fitness examinations, medical controls during the activity as well as personal dosimetric and incorporation diagnostic monitoring of occupationally exposed persons. After all, he was responsible for the assessment and overall assessment of radiation damage.
The office had to initiate or carry out the determination of the basic radiation and the control of the environment and food for radioactive substances. The system for environmental monitoring successfully passed the great stress test after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster . The SAAS coordinated the use of the existing specialists and measuring equipment. It organized the central recording and well-founded evaluation of the measured values. Reliable measured values for assessing the radiation conditions in the environment were available at all times.
The control of compliance with the legal provisions in the companies and facilities for the movement of radioactive substances or the operation of nuclear facilities required a great deal of work. The SAAS also controls the discharge of radioactive substances with the exhaust air or wastewater, as well as accident and disaster control measures when using nuclear energy.
In accordance with its responsibility, the SAAS had extensive rights to request reports or statements and to carry out on-site inspections by specialists in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection.
In recent years increasing attention has been paid to the control of increased natural radioactivity in the uranium mining areas, even if direct control by the Soviet-German AG Wismut was not possible. Increased radiation exposure from radon in residential buildings was also recorded.
Finally, the office was responsible for the implementation or coordination of all training and further education measures in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection. The office was also the information center in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection and obliged to provide specialists and senior staff of institutions with the information they need for their work. In this task, the SAAS also participated in the International Nuclear Information System of the Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA INIS). It took care of the input of relevant information and publications from the GDR and administered the documents made available by the IAEA INIS.
- The tasks of the State Office for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection of the GDR , Report SAAS 324, 1985
- 25 Years State Office for Atomic Safety and Radiation Protection Nuclear Energy 30 (1987), no. 9, p. 337
- Radiation protection; Regulations / norms / limit values , Staatsverlag der DDR, Berlin 1972
- Nuclear safety and radiation protection; Regulations / norms / limit values , text output with comments and subject index, Staatsverlag der DDR, Berlin 1977
- W. Kraus: Half a century of radiation protection in Karlshorst - a review , in: einblicke - Berlin Karlshorst - a walk through time and place , team of authors, lead: M. Laschke, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-9817816-0-1
- Statute of the State Office for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection of the GDR, resolution of the Council of Ministers of August 30, 1973, GBL I, No. 43, p. 449.
- Ludz Peter Christian Johannes Kuppe: GDR manual . Ed .: Federal Ministry for Internal German Relations. 1st edition. Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, Cologne 1979, p. 42 .
- Ordinance of 19 July 1962 on the statute of the State Center for Radiation Protection of the GDR, GBl II, p. 793.
- The Federal Archives, Office for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Technology, Introduction http://www.argus.bstu.bundesarchiv.de/DF1-64257-p/index.htm .
- Law on the use of atomic energy and protection against its dangers - Atomic Energy Act - of December 8, 1983, Journal of Laws of I No. 34, p. 325.
- Ordinance on ensuring nuclear safety and radiation protection of October 11, 1984, Journal of Laws of I No. 30, p. 341
- Commentary on the Ordinance on Ensuring Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection, Staatsverlag der DDR, Berlin 1987
- Order on the control of nuclear material of October 31, 1986, Journal of Laws of I No. 34, p. 436
- Ordinance on the physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities of April 7, 1982, Journal of Laws of I No. 21, p. 410
- Effects of the reactor accident in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on the territory of the GDR, Kernenergie 30 (1987) H. 9, p. 343