The way of working of the ESK is regulated by statutes and supported by a secretariat established within the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS). The ESK was established on 12th June 2008 at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and held its constituent meeting on 30th June 2008.
Requests for advice
The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) issues requests for advice to the Commission. The Commission is also free to take up advising-relevant matters on its own accord.
In agreement with the Commission chairperson, the BMU may issue requests for advice to a committee or a working group if the matter in question falls solely within the specialised areas of the relevant committee or working group and it is not so significant that it must be deliberated by the Commission.
As a result of its consultations, the Commission reaches resolutions on scientific and technical recommendations or statements directed to the BMU. It does not make any legal or political assessments. It must provide clear and understandable reasons for its recommendations and statements. The statement of reasons shall include the specification of the objects of investigation, a description of the means of fact finding and a substantiation of the conclusions..
The Commission's recommendations and statements are provided, along with the pertinent reasons, to Länder authorities, for their information and published on the homepage of the Nuclear Waste Management Commission (with a BMU assessment, where appropriate). The BMU may publish them in the Federal Gazette (Bundesanzeiger).
The meetings of the ESK, its committees and working groups are not public. Representatives of the BMU and the secretariat participate in the meetings. Representatives of the stakeholders , such as federal authorities, authorised experts, operators, objectors, may participate in the consultations on matters affecting them.