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The headquarters building in Salzgitter Building SZ

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) is an organisationally independent scientific-technical higher federal authority in the portfolio of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

The BfS pools competencies in the area of radiation protection, among others in

History and development of the BfS

The BfS was established in 1989, among others as a consequence of the reactor accident in Chernobyl in 1986, with the objective to pool competencies in the fields of radiation protection, nuclear safety, transport and storage of nuclear fuels, and radioactive waste disposal.

In 2016, the legislator adapted the governmental institutions to the current developments and responsibilities. The consequence for the BfS was that it is now focussing on the federal tasks of radiation protection:

  • Radiation protection and environment, as well as
  • Radiation protection and health.

The responsibilities as operator of the repository projects, including the Konrad and Morsleben repositories as well as the Asse mine, were combined in the newly established Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung (BGE), the federally-owned company responsible for radioactive waste disposal. Licences for interim storage facilities and nuclear transports, which were also in the responsibility of the BfS for a long time, are now granted by the Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management (BfE).

Current organisational structure

The BfS is composed of the following scope of duties and divisions:

Divisions "Effects and Risks of Ionising and Non-Ionising Radiation" and "Medical and Occupational Radiation Protection"show / hide

X-ray photograph Radiography

The tasks of the two divisions "Effects and Risks of Ionising and Non-Ionising Radiation" and "Medical and Occupational Radiation Protection" comprise a broad spectrum to include:

  • Implementation tasks according to Radiation Protection Ordinance and X-Ray Ordinance,
  • The determination and development of the state of the art of science and technology in the field of ionising and non-ionising radiation,
  • Medical and occupational radiation protection including incorporation monitoring,
  • Planning and conducting epidemiological studies,
  • Guidance to the Federal Environment Ministry,
  • International and national co-operation in radiation protection,
  • The representation of the Federal Republic of Germany in national and international scientific societies and committees, and
  • The communication and co-operation in technical issues with public institutions and the population.

To determine and further develop the state of the art of science and technology, own research is carried out and projects are designed, professionally assisted and implemented in the scope of the national environment research programme.

Divisions "Emergency Preparedness & Response" and "Environmental Radioactivity"show / hide

BfS staff in a measuring vehicle Working with the BfS

The two divisions "Emergency Preparedness & Response" and "Environmental Radioactivity" carry out scientific and administrative tasks in the field of radiation protection. The work mainly focusses on the solution of practical radiation protection problems. Particular priority is attached to

  • The determination and monitoring of radiation exposures due to natural and artificial radiation sources using corresponding scientific methods,
  • The operation of the radioactivity measuring network (dose rate measuring network),
  • The evaluation of determined situations, and
  • • Assessment of necessity and effect of technical and organisational measures in the area of radiological emergency preparedness.

Central Departmentshow / hide

The Central Department of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection supports the departments and pools the following administrative tasks:

  • Organisational and human resources development as well as human resources management
  • Finances and procurement
  • Legal department, data protection and licensing procedures
  • Real estate and internal services
  • Information technology
  • Co-ordination of research and administrative processing of research projects
  • Maintenance of competence as well as apprenticeship and in-service training in radiation protection
State of 2018.04.26

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