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Emergency preparedness

Co-operations of the BfS with national and international partners in the field of emergency preparedness

Biological dosimetry networksshow / hide

Co-operation partners

Objective

To provide international cooperation and mutual assistance in biological dosimetry after large-scale radiological emergencies

Automation of the dicentric assayshow / hide

Co-operation partners

Objective

The aim of this co-operation is to standardize the automation of the dicentric assay to be prepared in case of a major radiation accident to provide this assay for biological dosimetry in several laboratories simultaneously.

Automation of the micronucleus assayshow / hide

Co-operation partners

Objective

The aim of this co-operation is to standardize the automation of the micronucleus assay to be prepared in case of a major radiation accident to provide this assay for biological dosimetry in several laboratories simultaneously.

Co-operation concerning the FISH assayshow / hide

Gamma H2AX assayshow / hide

A global noble gas sampling network for monitoring atmospheric activity concentration of Kr-85 and radioxenonshow / hide

Co-operation partners

Objective

Krypton-85 and radioactive xenon isotopes are highly volatile and, thus, routinely released from facilities for nuclear fuel reprocessing or medical isotope production, nuclear reactors and other civil applications. Atmospheric ambient concentrations have a very characteristic temporal and geographic background. A sound knowledge of this background, trends and underlying transport mechanisms as well as a highly sensitive and mature measurement technology are needed if these trace materials are used to discover clandestine nuclear activities.

Among these applications are the verification for

  • the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT),
  • the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and possibly
  • a future Treaty to prohibit production of fissile material (Fissile Material Cut-off, FMCT).

Since more than three decades BfS is running a system of sampling points with many partners world wide and analyses these samples in its noble gas laboratory. The data are used as a basis for feasibility studies for verification methodologies as well as for documenting trends and informing the public.

Utilization of radionuclide measurements in ambient air for investigating transport processes in the environment and for validating of atmospheric dispersion modellingshow / hide

Development and testing of a Cadmium-Zinc-Telluride room temperature semi-conductor detectorshow / hide

Co-operation partners

Objective

Development and testing of a cadmium-zinc-telluride (CZT) semiconductor detector operated at room temperature and a digital multi channel analyser. These systems could enhance the BfS dose rate monitoring network with nuclide specific detection capabilities.

The BfS operated dose rate monitoring network with its approximately 1750 probe sites is the network for environmental radioactivity with the highest spatial density. However, it provides no nuclide specific information. This information, however, is needed in order to provide a reliable assessment of an ongoing event and to take protective actions.

Currently, nuclide specific measurements have to be made at selected dose rate probes by mobile systems. The results are then interpolated within the network. The inevitable time delay is a weak point in the system.

To fill this gap, a co-operation with the Freiburg material research centre was started for several years ago to study new detector materials (e.g. CZT semiconductor or LaBr3 scintillator) for the BfS emergency measuring network. The aim is to complement or replace the Geiger-Müller probes of the BfS dose rate monitoring network with spectroscopic systems if applicable. The derived spectra should reliable differentiate between artificial and natural external radiation and give prompt nuclide specific information, so that time consuming mobile in-situ measurements especially in the early phase of a nuclear accident could be replaced to a large extent.

To detect and identify typical fission products in the environment, the semiconductor and scintillation detectors have to be improved with respect to sensitivity and energy resolution. Also the price for a mass production should be well below a standard HPGe detector system to build a cost-effective and nationwide network. Meanwhile 10 systems with CZT- and LaBr3-detectors are prototypical integrated in the network. Based on the experiences in the next years it is planned to integrate successive spectroscopic probes in the BfS dose rate monitoring network.

International Noble Gas Experiment (INGE)show / hide

Co-operation partners

Objective

Radioactive xenon isotopes play a key role for the verification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). An operational global monitoring network must be able to detect and locate clandestine tests and to discriminate from civil background.

Coordinated efforts are needed to develop highly sensitive but also robust measurement systems and procedures for data analysis, source reconstruction and to be able to identify unambiguously verification relevant events. The INGE collaboration mainly supports the Provisional Technical Secretariat of the CTBTO and institutions and data centres of States Signatories accountable for data interpretation.

Harmonization of ambient dose rate measurements within the EU (Project AIRDOS)show / hide

Co-operation partners

Objective

Gamma dose rate is being monitored in large scale monitoring networks all over Europe since over 20 years. Bilateral and international data exchanged steadily increases. Different systems based on different physical principles and operated in different environments render data which are not directly comparable. This is mainly due to different sensitivities of detectors against the various components of the ambient dose rate.

A standardised procedure is needed which corrects for all relevant effects based on validated inter-comparisons. This should then facilitate a harmonized presentation of the data. The inter-calibration platform (INTERCAL) at the Schauinsland mountain site provides with its long term data inter-comparison an important contribution complementing the biannual inter-comparison measurement organized by EURADOS.

In addition the BfS is involved in the research project SRT-v15 "Metrology for Radiological Early Warning Networks in Europe" of the European Association of Metrology Institutes (EURAMET). The main tasks are: development and characterization of novel spectroscopic GDR probes, QA/QC of GDR measurements, further development of air particular filter systems with better QA/QC and harmonization, validation of the influence of systematic heterogeneities of the measured data within the longtime experience of the EURDEP/AIRDOS projects.

State of 2016.06.06

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