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Ionising radiation

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

Ionisierende Strahlung

Central Federal Support Group for Serious Cases of Nuclear Hazard Defence (ZUB)

Within the Central Federal Support Group for Serious Cases of Nuclear Hazard Defence (ZUB), special forces of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), the Federal Police (BPOL) and the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) cooperate in the event of misuse of radioactive material.


In December 2006, the ZUB assisted Hamburg authorities in an operation during which traces of polonium-201 were detected.

Read more (in German only):

Jahresbericht 2007

If necessary, Federal or Länder (federal states) authorities can request assistance from the ZUB. The joint crisis management staff of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) and the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) authorises the deployment of the ZUB if the authorities to be involved give their consent to the action.

Tasks of the ZUB

A key task of the ZUB is the handling of hazardous radiological situations as well as corresponding situations in policing. In addition, the ZUB regularly advises Länder authorities and other authorities responsible for the defence against nuclear hazards on the assessment of incidents.

BfS measurement technology in a helicopter HelicopterBfS measurement technology in a Federal Police helicopter is used for measuring radiation sources on the ground (exercise situation)

Among other things, the BfS performs the following tasks within the ZUB:

Regular exercises

Investigator at a crime scene Crime scene workRadiological investigation during a crime scene exercise

The authorities involved in the ZUB prepare for a possible deployment by regular exercises and training sessions.

Every year, during at least one exercise of the ZUB special forces, as many aspects of the defence against nuclear hazards (NGA) as possible are practiced in a large-scale scenario under radiation protection conditions. Defusing, work at the crime scene and the decontamination of the emergency forces are important steps in the process.

Interesting facts

The Federal Government's reply to a "minor parliamentary question by the representatives Jan van Aken, Wolfgang Gehrcke, Frank Tempel, other representatives and the parliamentary group DIE LINKE." (Parliamentary Paper 18/7036, in German only) provides a highly condensed overview of the CBRN related obligations and the operational concepts of the involved authorities. On page 11 of its reply, the Federal Government refers to the possibility of assistance by the ZUB.

State of 2017.05.15

© Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz