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Ionising radiation Release of ruthenium-106 in the southern Ural Mountains

The Russian meteorological service, Roshydromet, has now published the first report on its own detection of radioactive ruthenium-106 a few weeks ago. The findings cited in the report support the calculations by the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS). The BfS assumes that a rather large quantity of ruthenium-106 (Ru-106) was released around the end of September 2017. The place of release can now also be localised more precisely: Due to the prevailing wind direction at that time, areas to the west and to the south of the Ural Mountains can be excluded as potential release areas.

Paulini in favour of fact-based discourse on radiation risks

Inge Paulini, President of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz, BfS) campaigned for a fact-based discourse about radiation risks during an international radiation protection conference on 9 November 2017 at BfS Munich. "All of us have a responsibility to discuss potential risks in an honest, open and comprehensible way without creating unnecessary concern. As reliable partners in scientific and public debates, we should support discourses based on scientific facts and not on fear", she emphasized at the opening of an event of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) on Wednesday at BfS in Neuherberg near Munich.

Ionising radiation Low concentrations of ruthenium-106 detected in Europa

Slightly elevated concentrations of radioactivity in the atmosphere have been detected at several trace monitoring stations in Europe since 29.09.2017. Low levels of ruthenium-106 (Ru-106) were detected at seven stations in Germany and several European stations, among others in Austria, Switzerland and Italy. The concentration of the radioactive substance is very low, ranging from a few microbecquerel to a few millibecquerel per cubic metre. These low levels of radioactivity do not pose a hazard to public health. Analyses as to the origin of the radioactive substance suggest a high probability of a release in the Southern Ural, although other areas in the South of Russia cannot be ruled out.

A model of the winning design from the architectural office "Glass Kramer Löbbert Architekten BDA" Source: Glass Kramer Löbbert Architekten BDA

Prize jury decides on new build for BfS in Neuherberg

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) is getting a new laboratory and office building at its research site in Neuherberg. On 21 September 2017, the prize jury selected the winner of the design competition. The Berlin architecture firm "Glass Kramer Löbbert Architekten BDA" won over the jury with its design. The individual participant contributions in the architecture competition organised by the Institute for Federal Real Estate (BImA) are being exhibited from 22 to 28 Septem-ber in the Alten Schloss in Schleißheim.

Electromagnetic fields Online consultation on power grid expansion completed

The online consultation on radiation protection during the process of power grid expansion has been completed. The research programme of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz, BfS) under the same title has attracted great interest: 235 comments reached the BfS up to 15 September 2017, of which 10 were in English. Interested parties had the opportunity to comment on the research programme on the BfS website from 17 July to 15 September 2017. The comments will be evaluated by BfS experts and taken into account in further planning of the research programme.

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