The National Citizens’ Oversight Committee is an independent, pluralistically assembled social committee. Scientists, students, interested citizens - the spectrum of the members reflects the diversity of society. The goal is to mediate in the search for the final repository for highly radioactive waste - in an independent, transparent and participatory manner.
The NBG consists of well-known public figures appointed by the German Bundestag and Bundesrat. In addition to these experts, citizens are also a part of the NBG. They are nominated in a participation process and appointed by the German Environment Minister.
It is planned that the NBG should have 18 members – twelve recognised public figures and six citizens, two of which are from the younger generation.
The work of the Oversight Committee is based on Paragraph 8 of the Site Selection Act. This act defines the procedure and the criteria for selecting the repository site. Furthermore, it governs public participation in the process.
The NBG perceives itself as an independent social authority - towards government agencies, parliament or the economy. Its members cannot belong to any legislative bodies or government of the federal government or a federal state. Moreover, they cannot have any economic interests in regard to the site selection or the ultimate waste disposal.
The committee would like to convey trust through expertise and neutrality and act as an intermediate between various players. In doing so, the NBG wants to contribute to finding the best possible site for the final repository for highly radioactive waste in a transparent and fair selection process.
Until the revision of the Site Selection Act in May of 2017, the Oversight Committee also served as a bridge to the work of the “Commission for the Storage of Highly Radioactive Waste”. Among other things, the so-called repository commission had developed criteria for selecting a site and suggestions for public participation. The commission’s final report stated: “The appointment of citizens is a clear sign of the special role of the National Citizens’ Oversight Committee”.