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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.

Ionising radiation Southern Urals probable source region of ruthenium-106 detected in Europe

The reason for the slight increase in readings of radioactive ruthenium-106 recently detected remains unclear. Most probably, the increase originates from the southern Urals, as suggested by calculations of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz, BfS). However, other regions in the South of Russia must still be considered. An accident at a nuclear power plant can be ruled out as a possible cause, since solely ruthenium-106 has been detected. The concentrations of radioactivity in Germany are very low and do therefore pose no hazard to public health.

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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