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Ionising radiation

Environmental Radioactivity - Medicine - Occupational Radiation Protection - Nuclear Hazards Defence

Ionisierende Strahlung

Practice in an emergency

For the event of an accident in a nuclear facility in Germany or neighbouring countries, the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) operates a radiological emergency preparedness system which will be activated immediately to protect the population against ionising radiation. In order to determine the resulting radiation exposure for the people and to be able to take the appropriate protective measures in an emergency, the contamination of the environment must be measured and assessed quickly and reliably. Exercises are performed by employees of the BfS to assure proper operation of the radiological emergency preparedness system under such conditions.

Nuclear power plant Emsland

Nuclear plant emergency response exercises

In order to successfully execute the protective measures to be taken in the event of an accident, the persons involved at all levels of crisis management must be adequately trained, qualified and prepared. Therefore, great importance is attached to the training of operational staff within and outside a nuclear facility such as a nuclear power plant. This applies, in particular, to NPP staff preparedness to cope with an emergency at the plant.

helicopter on the landing site

Helicopter-borne Measurement Exercises

According to the Precautionary Radiation Protection Act (Strahlenschutzvorsorgegesetz), large-scale determination of naturally occurring radioactivity as well as airborne detection of sources of ionizing radiation is in the area of jurisdiction of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz - BfS). There are two airworthy standby gamma spectrometric measuring systems at each of the BfS sites in Berlin and Munich in order to fullfill this task. Operational readiness is ensured due to annual joint measurement exercises of the BfS and the German Federal Police (Bundespolizei - BPOL). During these exercises, the measuring systems are mounted to helicopters of either the BPOL or the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance.

helicopter-mounted measuring system

Measurements systems and software

In the early phase of a potential radiological incident, the BfS exclusively uses automatic stationary and quasi-stationary ODL measurement systems. After the radiological situation has become stable and no more releases are expected, complementary measurements provide a more refined picture of the radiological situation. To this end, the BfS applies mobile measurement systems. Four different types of measurement systems are held available altogether.

Messfahrzeug des BfS

Ground-based measurement exercises

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) is responsible for the large-scale determination of the ambient gamma dose rate (gamma ODL) and the radioactivity at ground surface. For this purpose, measurement vehicles are ready for use at all BfS locations. These vehicles are either employed for in situ measurement or the determination of the gamma ODL. To ensure that they are ready for use, annual measurement exercises are performed in different areas in Germany and also abroad.

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