ANVS has a new director of the Competent Authority department

The ANVS has a Competent Authority department since 1 February 2023. This department is responsible for supervision, enforcement and licensing. The interim director of this department may now remove the word 'interim' from his job title. "I am proud to be able to build this directorate in the coming years," says Bernd Keller, director from June 1, 2023.

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Image: ©ANVS

The power of differences

"I've been working for the ANVS since its founding in 2015," Keller continues. "It has always struck me how diverse the organisation is. In terms of content, in terms of tasks, but especially in terms of people and what they bring. I find working here really inspiring." Keller heads the Competent Authority department, which grants permits and carries out inspections. It also maintains all places where there is radioactivity and radiation, for example at nuclear power plants, hospitals and in the transport sector.

Keller: "Since February, these teams have been placed within 1 management which has provided a fresh look at each other's work. Each team brings different experiences and backgrounds. This way we can combine each other's brainpower, strengthen the teams and do our work more efficiently and better." Something which is important with everything that is going on nationally and internationally. "Developments such as the plans for new nuclear power plants in the Netherlands demand a great deal of effort from the ANVS. Just like developments in the field of radiopharmaceuticals: radioactive medicines. Or, if it is possible to do so safely, keep the Borssele nuclear power plant in operation for longer. We want the organisation to be optimally set up and prepared for these developments."

Listen and learn

"For an organisation like ours, it's important to keep up so that we can take the necessary steps in time," says Keller. "Of course we have to be aware of the current technological developments, but also of the questions that are raised in society. The plans that the government has for the new power plants, for example, stir up a lot in our society. Us being aware of this and knowing which questions are on top of people’s minds, for example about safety, ensure that we can have sharp discussions internally about our effort and our communication."

Keller pays a lot of attention to the outside view. "We learn a lot from the conversations we have with the outside world. With permit holders, trade associations, municipalities, security regions and the general public. They all feed us with useful information. The same applies to other national and international supervisors, too; we also learn from them. The ANVS needs this open mind, so that we can optimally commit ourselves to ensuring safety in the Netherlands."

Broad experience and knowledge

Before becoming a director at the ANVS, Keller was head of the Radiation Applications Department and team leader. Before that, he worked at the Nuclear Physics Department of the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) and the Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment Inspectorate (VROM). "After some years in the chemical sector, I switched to the national government. I have been working there for 20 years now, because I want to contribute to society. I also find the contents extremely interesting: in the distant past I studied chemical technology in Germany. I always stayed passionate about the content."

In Bernd Keller the ANVS has found itself a Competent Authority director who gives establishing meaningful connections his utmost attention. In terms of the organisation’s ability to relate to the experiences and needs of the outside world. And regarding the ANVS’s broad range of internal, specialised knowledge.