Ernest Rutherford develops his theory of the structure of the atom and the radioactive decay. On the basis of this theory, Niels Bohr develops later a model of an atom.
Under the direction of Werner Heisenberg and Walther Bothe, the "Uranverein" (Uranium Club) constructs a research reactor in which no self-sustaining chain reaction can be produced until the end of war (1945).
When the Federal Republic of Germany achieves sovereignty, it is possible to work on the peaceful utilisation of nuclear energy. Under Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, the Federal Government of the period creates the Federal Ministry for Atomic Issues on 16 October and on 26 October appoints Franz-Josef Strauss as the first Minister for Atomic Affairs.
The Atomic Energy Act is promulgated in the Federal Republic of Germany It is the legal basis for the construction and operation of nuclear power plants.
The German Atomic Forum (Deutsches Atomforum e.V.) is established on 26 May and creates a platform for business, science and politics with the aim of promoting the peaceful utilisation of nuclear energy.
On 7 March the first self-built German reactor (FR-2) is put into operation at the Karlsruhe Nuclear Research Centre. The heavy water reactor is operated with natural uranium.
In June 1961 the Kahl experimental nuclear power plant (VAK) feeds electricity produced using nuclear energy into the national grid for the first time in the Federal Republic of Germany. The VAK is a boiling water reactor of American design with 16 MW output.
The research centre Kernforschungszentrum Jülich generates the first chain reaction in Germany with a high-temperature reactor.
The EUROCHEMIC reprocessing plant in Mol (Belgium) is put into operation with German participation.
The Rheinsberg nuclear power plant (70 MW), a pressurised water reactor of Soviet design is put into operation in the GDR.
The experimental program for storage of radioactive waste starts in the Asse salt mine. Between 1967 and 1978 around 124,500 drums containing low active waste and 1,300 drums containing medium active waste are placed into storage in the Asse mine shaft.
The AVR with 15 MW output, the first high temperature reactor developed in Germany, is put into operation in Jülich.
The German Nuclear Society Kerntechnische Gesellschaft e.V. is established on 14 April: An association of scientists, engineers and other experts with the aim of supporting progress in nuclear technology.
The 12 utilities operating or planning nuclear power plants join to establish the Projektgesellschaft Wiederaufbereitung von Kernbrennstoffen mbH (PWK) for the reprocessing of nuclear fuels.
Site occupation of the planned Wyhl nuclear power plant.
Foundation of the Informationskreis Kernenergie.
On 28 March an accident occurrs in the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, USA. The core partially melts down. The containment structure functions as intended.
On 5 May the Philippsburg 1 nuclear power plant was put into operation.
International Gorleben hearing on the safety of nuclear waste management facilities. Start of exploration of the Gorleben salt dome as a final repository for high active waste.
The first controlled nuclear fission takes place in the THTR-300 thorium high temperature reactor.
The National Metrology Institute (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt PTB) grants the BLG (Brennelementlager Gorleben GmbH) the storage licence for the Gorleben interim storage facility pursuant to Section 6 of the Atomic Energy Act.
The Krümmel nuclear power plant is put into operation on 28 September.
On 26 April the most serious accident to date in the history of the peaceful utilisation of nuclear energy occurrs in unit four of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the former Soviet Union.
Large-scale demonstration against construction of the Wackersdorf reprocessing plant.
Establishment of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Reactor Safety (BMU).
An SPD party conference resolves to phase out nuclear energy within 10 years.
The IAEO Convention on Early Warning of a Nuclear Accident and the Precautionary Radiation Protection Act passed by the German Bundestag come into force.
The Brokdorf nuclear power plant is put into operation on 14 October.
The PTB grants Brennelement-Zwischenlager GmbH (BZA) the licence for storage of spent light water fuel assemblies.
Federal Minister for the Environment Töpfer introduces an integrated measuring and information system for permanent monitoring of environmental radioactivity (IMIS) which is installed in the Federal Republic of Germany and is to be extended.
The Neckarwestheim II nuclear power plant goes into operation on 3 January.
The Federal Government resolves that reprocessing in the member states of the European Communities secured by long-term contract could be accepted as part of the integrated waste management concept. Building work on the Wackersdorf reprocessing plant is halted.
The World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) is established in Moscow to increase the safety of nuclear power plants by means of a global exchange of ideas and experience.
The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) begins work. The amended Radiation Protection Ordinance comes into force.
The first nuclear partial licence is granted for the construction of the Gorleben pilot conditioning plant (PKA).
The Atomic Energy Act becomes applicable throughout Germany due to the accession of the new federal states. The Soviet designed Rheinsberg and Greifswald nuclear power plants are shut down.
On June 14, the Federal Government and the utility companies initial an agreement about the future operation of the German nuclear power plants. The utilities commit themselves to producing only a certain residual amount of electricity in their nuclear power plants; in return the Federal Government promises that these plants will be able to operate undisturbed.
Agreement on June 14. 2000
Gorleben exploration mine: From 1 October a moratorium of no less than three but no more than ten years.
On December 15, the final unit still in operation at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant - Unit 3 - is closed down for good.
The contents of the agreement are implemented in the new version of the Atomic Energy Act.
The new version of the Atomic Energy Act (in German)
The Finnish government grants the nuclear licence for the construction of the first third-generation reactor, Olkiluoto 3, on 17 February.
The Obrigheim nuclear power plant is shut down on 11 May.
China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the USA resolve the construction of the ITER fusion reactor in Cadarache (France) on 28 June 2005.
Processing of methodological, conceptual and safety-related questions regarding exploration of the Gorleben salt dome.
The licence for the "Konrad mine" achieves legal validity on 3 April on passing of the resolution by the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig.
The French government grants the licence for construction of the EPR in Flamanville.
on 10 April.
The Southwest German Association for Research and Lecturing in Nuclear Technology (Südwestdeutsche Forschungs- und Lehrverbund Kerntechnik KIT) is established on 22 October.
The Institute for Final Repository Research is established at the TU Clausthal on 5 November.
The German section of Women in Nuclear (WIN) is established on 1 October.
The Federal Office for Radiation Protection becomes the operator of the Asse II mine shaft.
On 24 February, the Federal Office for Radiation Protection grants the licence for the storage of HAW glass canisters from the Karlsruhe reprocessing plant to ZLN Zwischenlager Nord (Interim Storage Repository North) and Energiewerke Nord (Electricity Suppliers North).
50th anniversary celebrations of the German Atomic Forum on 1 July in Berlin.
Accident in Japan´s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on 11 March.
On 30 June German Parliament decides to accelerate phase-out of nuclear power.